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Will my foreign exchange transaction be impacted by sanctions?

Last Updated: 16 Nov 2021

What are sanctions?

Sanctions are measures used by governments and international organisations to support national security interests and/or advance foreign policy objectives. The requirements of different sanctions regimes will often vary depending on the government or body administering them, their intended aims, and the individuals, groups, vessels and entities they target. However, measures commonly imposed include the following:

  • Financial restrictions
  • Asset freezes
  • Travel bans
  • Targeted arms embargos, and/or
  • Import/export bans on certain commodities.

How could you be affected?

ASB is committed to ensuring we comply with the applicable sanctions regulations. To make sure that ASB and our customers meet sanctions requirements, we undertake due diligence on:

  • Our customers
  • Trade transactions
  • International payments

We strive to make all foreign exchange transactions including international money transfers and currency conversion as requested, however some may not be processed due to international sanctions, and some will require further due diligence. 

Completing the required sanctions due diligence may result in extended process times for some transactions for our customers. As part of our due diligence process, customers may need to provide purpose of payment, supporting documents and additionally for businesses, specific information on ownership including counterparties or underlying parties.

Any transactions that are prohibited by sanctions will not be processed by ASB, nor will transactions be processed where ASB is unable to obtain sufficient information to confirm that the transaction does not contravene applicable sanctions. Countries with prohibitions in place include, but are not limited to: 

  • Crimea and Sevastopol (region)
  • Cuba
  • Iran 
  • North Korea
  • Syria 

International sanctions are often implemented or changed at short notice in reaction to significant world events; for example acts of terrorism.

Please note, the list of countries to which sanctions apply may change without notice. 

To find out more e-mail ASBOperations@asb.co.nz.


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