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Reserve Bank working to help in wake of earthquake

Wednesday 23rd February 2011

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The Reserve Bank said it is working closely with authorities and financial institutions to ensure financial services are available to people and businesses in Christchurch after yesterday's earthquakes.

"We can only imagine how difficult this is with the loss of lives, homes and buildings, the injuries and dislocation for people in Christchurch," said Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard.

"The Reserve Bank is working hard to assist the recovery as fast as possible in terms of access to financial services, and ensuring markets remain stable."

Bollard extended sympathy to the people of Christchurch affected by the disaster and said the Reserve Bank was coordinating its assistance in the recovery efforts with the Government’s National Crisis Management Centre in Wellington.

"We are also working with affected banks and cash-in-transit companies to ensure the availability of cash in Christchurch. The Reserve Bank is ready and able to supply any cash requited by banks. We have ample cash reserves and will issue cash to banks on any day required during this emergency situation," he said.

The Reserve Bank understands some ATMs are operational and it is working closely with banks on issues of accessibility, electricity and telecommunications to ensure cash is available.

"We have also been informed by banks that they are reinstating the loan assistance policies that were put in place after the September 2010 earthquake, and that the four major banks have each donated $1 million to support the immediate and long-term recovery."

Bollard said the Bank is monitoring financial markets, and that New Zealand has well-established emergency procedures and insurance protocols.

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