Reserve Bank makes sure there's cash in Christchurch

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is working to ensure financial services are provided to earthquake ravaged Christchurch but the central bank gave no hints about the implications for monetary policy.

The bank was coordinating with the Government's National Crisis Management Centre in Wellington and banks to ensure the availability of cash in Christchurch and it was monitoring financial markets.

No problems have been reported with the national payments and settlement systems.

"The Reserve Bank is ready and able to supply any cash required by banks. We have ample cash reserves and will issue cash to banks on any day required during this emergency situation," Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard said.

The bank understood that some ATMs were operational.

Economists have speculated that the central bank will put off raising interest rates for longer because of the knock to the nation's economy from the magnitude 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch on Tuesday but Dr Bollard made no comment on this.

"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," he said.

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