Economy New Zealand central bank launches probe into possible leak of March 10...

New Zealand central bank launches probe into possible leak of March 10 rate cut decision

The facade of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand located in The Terrace, Wellington.
The facade of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand located in The Terrace, Wellington.

The New Zealand central bank said it has launched an external investigation into allegations made by a blogger that its surprise rate cut decision on March 10 was leaked.

“We are aware of an allegation that information may have been leaked ahead of the OCR announcement on 10 March,” a Reserve Bank of New Zealand spokesman told Reuters by phone on Monday.

He emphasized there was no evidence at this stage that any information was leaked. However, “we take the integrity and security of market-sensitive information very seriously and have initiated an external investigation into the allegation.”

Blogger Michael Reddell told Reuters he had received an email on March 10, just under an hour before the rate decision was made public, that said “we have just learnt the RBNZ will cut by 25 basis points.”

He did not disclose who sent the email other than to say it was from a “media person.”

Reddell writes a blog about policy and economic issues and is a former Reserve Bank of New Zealand senior adviser.

The central bank releases its rate decision to markets at 9:00 local time. Given the New Zealand dollar tends to react strongly to the decision and statement, any prior information would be highly valuable for currency traders.

On March 10, however, the dollar did not drop until after the central bank took markets by surprise by cutting the cash rate to a record-low 2.25 percent.