Actually, never one to believe what someone else tells me without proof, I just logged into a different account which is a mod in my test group but with no privileges. The notification panel was there and all notifications were available to me.
Also, while logged in as myself, I went into the two other groups i'm on a mod in, and in which I definitely do not have "set moderation privileges." Same thing.
So Andy, how did you test this and find that notifications are available only if "set moderator privileges" is set? Because I'm seeing otherwise.
Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.