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Treasury Management Policy


Responsibility for policy: Audit and Risk Committee
Approving authority: Council
Last reviewed: October 2018
Next review date: October 2019

Print Version

Application

  1. This policy applies to all staff of the University of Waikato.

Purpose

  1. The purpose of this policy is to set out the high-level framework for the University's financial governance and management.

Scope

  1. The scope of this policy excludes endowment funds.

Legislative context

  1. The following documents provide the legislative context for this policy:

Related documents

  1. The following documents set out further information relevant to this policy:

Definitions

  1. In this policy:
    borrowing means any financing that includes bank loans, finance leases and arrangements with another party or parties for the deferral of payments for the purchase of material assets or expenditure; it does not include routine payment arrangements with vendors and credit card facilities
    cash means all forms of payment accepted by the University, including currency (notes and coins), cheques, money-orders, credit cards, EFTPOS and other electronic transactions
    cash handling means the receipt, storage, banking and distribution of cash
    credit risk means the risk of loss arising from a counterparty to a financial contract failing to discharge its obligations
    counterparty means a financial institution with which the University enters into a financial arrangement
    derivative instrument means a financial instrument whose value can be derived from an independent market
    endowment fund means an investment that is funded solely by way of donations and managed by the University of Waikato Foundation Trust Investment Committee
    financial instrument means a contract that both creates both a financial asset in one entity and a financial liability or equity instrument in another; it includes cash deposits, lease arrangements, hire purchase agreements and derivative instruments
    foreign currency exposure means the value of expected payments or receipts in foreign currency based on budget and subsequently the updated cashflow forecast
    foreign exchange risk means the risk of loss to an entity arising from an adverse movement in foreign currency exchange rates
    hedging means establishing parameters to offset or minimise costs and/or risks associated with foreign exchange transactions
    liquid asset means cash or any other financial asset that can be liquidated within two working days
    purchasing card means a credit card facility for staff.

Approved counterparties

  1. The Chief Financial Officer must ensure that transactions are only conducted with banks or financial institutions which have either
    1. a minimum Standard and Poors short-term rating of A-2 or long-term credit rating of A+, or
    2. a minimum Moody's Investors short-term rating of P-2 or long-term credit rating of A.
  2. The Audit and Risk Committee is responsible for monitoring approved counterparties to ensure that they maintain the minimum credit ratings specified in clause 7 of this policy.
  3. The Chief Financial Officer must ensure that the University's financial exposure to any one counterparty does not exceed 40% of its total funds, or NZ$10 million, whichever is greater; where deposits are received by a counterparty that lifts the total deposits with that counterparty over these limits, the University must transfer funds and correct the exposure within one business day.
  4. Counterparty limits are subject to the approval of the Audit and Risk Committee, on the recommendation of the Chief Financial Officer.

Banking and financial arrangements

  1. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that the University's banking arrangements comply with the Education Act 1989 and that, for control purposes, the number of University bank accounts is kept to a minimum.
  2. The Delegated Authority Framework in relation to treasury management is set out in Appendix 4 of this policy.
  3. Staff must not open or close bank accounts on behalf of the University without the prior approval of the Vice-Chancellor. (The current schedule of approved University bank accounts is set out in Appendix 1.)
  4. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that short-term deposits are only placed with the banks or financial institutions which meet the criteria set out in clause 7 of this policy.
  5. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that any investment of money by the University complies with the Education Act 1989; the University's approved financial instruments and their associated maximum maturity are set out in Appendix 5.
  6. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that approval by the Minister is obtained in advance for any term investments and investments in shares, derivatives, gold, silver or any other commodities that are not otherwise covered under clause 15 of this policy.

Authorised bank account signatories for financial transactions

  1. Authority to act as a bank account signatory is subject to the approval of the Vice-Chancellor.
  2. The Chief Financial Officer must report the schedule of approved bank account signatories to the Audit and Risk Committee annually.
  3. All payroll transactions require the signatures of either two approved bank account signatories from the list set out in Appendix 2 of this policy, or of one bank account signatory from Appendix 2 and one bank account signatory from Appendix 3.
  4. All other bank account transactions require the signature of two approved bank account signatories from the list set out in Appendix 2.
  5. In situations where two signatories from the list set out in Appendix 2 are not available, the Chief Financial Officer may call upon one signatory from the list set out in Appendix 3 to counter-sign a non-payroll bank account transaction, together with one signatory from the list set out in Appendix 2.

Purchasing card facilities

  1. Only the Chief Financial Officer has authority to approve the establishment of any purchasing card facility for the University.
  2. Conditions for the provision and use of University purchasing cards are set out in the PCard Policy.

Borrowing

  1. The objective of a borrowing programme is to ensure that the University has sufficient funds to prudently carry out its short and long term activities.
  2. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that all borrowing by the University complies with the Education Act 1989.
  3. Subject to the prior approval of the Audit and Risk Committee and Council, the Vice-Chancellor has authority to enter into a borrowing facility or borrowing arrangement.
  4. The Chief Financial Officer has authority to approve drawdowns and repayments of debt from approved borrowing facilities or borrowing arrangements.
  5. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for the University's compliance with all borrowing terms and conditions.
  6. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that, where practicable, the maturity dates of any drawdowns and bank facilities are spread in order to mitigate any pressure in re-funding any individual tranche of borrowing and to reduce exposure to adverse circumstances which might otherwise impact on the availability or price of such funding.
  7. The Chief Financial Officer must report to the Audit and Risk Committee six-monthly on all current borrowing arrangements (both undrawn and drawn down facilities).
  8. Strategies to minimise interest rate risk will be approved by the Audit and Risk Committee and incorporated into any borrowing arrangements.
  9. The Chief Financial Officer has authority to execute hedging contracts in accordance with interest rate risk management strategies approved by the Audit and Risk Committee.
  10. Subject to the prior approval of the Audit and Risk Committee, the Chief Financial Officer has authority to re-finance existing debt on existing or more favourable terms.
  11. The maturity profile of all debt must be considered and agreed with the Audit and Risk Committee prior to entering into borrowing arrangements.
  12. The maximum amount of borrowing that the University can commit to will be limited to the range determined by the following metrics:
    1. Debt/Total Revenue – 36%
    2. Gearing: Debt/(Debt + Equity) – 15%
    3. Debt Cover: Debt/Net Cash Flow – 3x
    4. Leverage: Net Debt/Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation – 3x
  13. Any borrowing above this range is subject to the prior approval of both the Audit and Risk Committee and Council.

  14. The University may borrow from related party entities from time to time; any such borrowing must be under a formal borrowing and lending arrangement which must include the agreed borrowing amount, the term, and any related terms and conditions.
  15. Funds from operating surpluses and asset sale proceeds will be applied to the reduction of debt and/or a reduction in borrowing requirements, subject to clause 34 of this policy, unless specifically directed otherwise by Council.

Liquidity risk management

  1. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that, unless approved otherwise in advance by Council, the University's funding commitments are managed to ensure that a minimum of 105% of the forecast peak funding requirements at any on point in time in the following 12 month period are covered on the day by a combination of:
    • liquid assets, and
    • secured committed financing arrangements
  2. The Chief Financial Officer must monitor funding commitments and the University's liquidity position on a monthly basis and report on such matters to each meeting of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Foreign exchange risk management

  1. In order to limit its exposure to foreign exchange risk, the University's preference to transact in NZ$ wherever practicable must be communicated to both suppliers and customers.
  2. The Chief Financial Officer has the authority to use hedging instruments to mitigate University foreign exchange risks; however, active trading that is speculative in nature is prohibited.
  3. The Chief Financial Officer may undertake hedging transactions with approved counterparties, provided that only the following financial instruments are used:
    1. foreign exchange spot contracts
    2. forward exchange contracts
    3. market and stop-loss orders.
  4. The Chief Financial Officer must report the details of any net foreign currency exposures and related hedging to the next meeting of the Audit and Risk Committee following the relevant transaction.
  5. Individual foreign currency expenses or receipts with an equivalent sport value of NZ$50,000 or less should be transacted at the spot rate on the date of payment or receipt; the Chief Financial Officer must monitor foreign exchange risk for these types of transactions, but may leave them unhedged at his or her discretion.
  6. Wherever a confirmed foreign currency exposure has an equivalent spot value higher than NZ$50,000, the Chief Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that the foreign currency exposure is 100% covered by foreign currency deposits or hedged in accordance with the provisions of clauses 31-32 of this policy, within five working days of the commitment arising provided:
    1. there is reasonable certainty over the amount and timing of the exposure, and
    2. the term of the latest payment or receipt does not exceed 12 months.
  7. Where, in the Chief Financial Officer's view, a contract involving foreign currency is very likely to be entered into within six months, he or she may arrange for up to 70% of the foreign currency exposure to be covered by foreign currency deposits or hedged in accordance with the provision of clauses 31-32 of this policy.
  8. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that at least two competitive quotes from approved counterparties are obtained for any foreign currency transactions with an equivalent spot value higher than NZ$250,000.

Cash handling

  1. Approval must be obtained from the Chief Financial Officer prior to the undertaking of any cash handling operation or activity.
  2. The Chief Financial Officer has authority to designate an area as a Cash Collection Point.
  3. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that internal control procedures for a Cash Collection Point are appropriate, and that:
    1. duties for the receipting, distribution, and recording of cash transactions are segregated, or
    2. where the limited number of staff or the nature of the cash transactions makes segregation of duties impossible, alternative appropriate controls are built into the cash handling procedure of the Cash Collection Point.
  4. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that cash received through the Cash Collection Point is kept physically secure at all times through appropriate safekeeping equipment and procedures, and that the safety and security of staff within the area is maintained.
  5. Staff must maintain a formal accounting record of all cash transactions and must reconcile transactions at the close of each business day.
  6. Staff who receipt cash on behalf of the University must ensure that it is deposited into the appropriate University bank account as soon as practicable.
  7. Staff must not alter University accounting records, misappropriate cash received on behalf of the University, or use cash received on behalf of the University for personal purposes.

Responsibility for monitoring compliance

  1. The Audit and Risk Committee is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy, by way of six-monthly reports from the Chief Financial Officer.
  2. Breaches of this policy must be reported to the Vice-Chancellor and the Chairperson of the Audit and Risk Committee, and may result in disciplinary action under the Staff Code of Conduct.

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