Australia's central bank on Thursday dismissed as "unwarranted" media reports that board members had known about an Asian banknotes bribery scandal involving one of its companies as early as 2007.
Fairfax newspapers said senior central bank figures failed to alert police to claims that agents from a subsidiary company, Note Printing Australia (NPA), were bribing officials in Malaysia and Nepal.
The allegations were brought before the NPA board, of which a number of Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) officials were members, in mid-2007, according to Fairfax, but it said the bank decided to handle it internally.
"The implication (Fairfax Media) seems to be drawing is that people in the company and the bank had information indicating illegality but did not act appropriately on that information," the RBA said in a statement
"The apparent inference ... is unwarranted."
The RBA said NPA's board was alerted to "serious deficiencies in the practices and controls related to the use of sales agents" after commissioning an audit in 2007 which returned "no findings regarding illegality".
"When it received the audit report the NPA board decided to terminate the use of sales agents immediately and engaged (an independent investigation into) whether there was a breach of Australian law.
"The... investigation concluded that there was not," the bank said.
"The question of a referral to the police therefore did not arise."
The bank also dismissed any suggestion it had failed to alert police to the NPA issues when they first began investigating bribery claims at fellow banknote firm Securency, which is part-owned by the RBA, in 2009.
The two banknote firms have been charged along with seven Australians, a former Malaysian central bank governor and businessman over the alleged bribery for banknote contracts in Asia between 1999 and 2006.
Australian police investigations are ongoing with cooperation from Britain's Serious Fraud Office, Malaysian authorities and Indonesian National Police.