Overseas funds transfer declined

 

The story

Terry had transferred funds overseas many times through Overseas Cash.  In July 2013 Terry attempted to transfer NZD100 to the United States.  Overseas Cash declined to transfer the funds.  When Terry asked Overseas Cash why it had declined the transfer, Overseas Cash said a New Zealand Government agency had told it to decline the transfer.

 

Terry continued to send funds overseas without incident until March 2014 when Overseas Cash again declined to process a transaction and said it was not prepared to process any future transactions.

 

Terry wrote to Overseas Cash asking for more information.  Overseas Cash explained the United States Federal Government requires it to screen all transactions and meet New Zealand’s compliance restrictions, and suggested Terry refer his complaint to us.

 

Dispute

Terry could not understand why Overseas Cash had suddenly decided to decline to transfer his money overseas.  In Terry’s view Overseas Cash must be basing its decision on incorrect information.  Terry wanted more information about Overseas Cash’s decision so that he could clarify any misunderstandings and continue to transfer funds.

 

FSCL’s review

As Overseas Cash had returned Terry’s funds he had not suffered a loss.  Although the declined transaction would have caused Terry some inconvenience Overseas Cash was entitled to decide who it would and would not do business with and we found compensation was not appropriate.  However we asked Overseas Cash for information to help answer Terry’s questions.

 

Overseas Cash explained it declined to process the July 2013 transaction because it was concerned Terry was the victim of fraud.  Although Overseas Cash had rejected one transaction, it allowed Terry to continue to send funds.  In March 2014 Overseas Cash reviewed the activity on Terry’s account and decided it was no longer prepared to transfer funds for him.  For security reasons Overseas Cash was unable to tell us or Terry why it had decided to decline to process future transactions.  The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financial Terrorism Act 2009 includes an anti-tipping off provision at section 46.  We cannot require Overseas Cash to provide information where doing so would breach a legal obligation owed to the government.

 

Outcome

It was disappointing we were unable to give Terry the information he was seeking.  Terry accepted there was nothing further we could do to help and agreed to withdraw his complaint.