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Ensuring the future health of the finance sector

Everyone including depositors, the Reserve Bank, trustees and non-bank deposit takers has a role in ensuring the future health of the finance sector, Reserve Bank Head of Prudential Supervision, Toby Fiennes, said today.

Speaking to a business audience, Mr Fiennes said that it is important that everyone plays their part in making the new regulations work.

Mr Fiennes said non-bank deposit takers (NBDTs) - e.g. finance companies, building societies and credit unions - will be required to comply with a new set of prudential requirements. "The Reserve Bank is currently developing the relevant regulations which will be introduced in late 2009 and 2010. We are focused on ensuring these rules and regulations work for the NBDT sector."

The new prudential regime aims to provide a consistent and rigorous approach to the supervision of deposit takers, and provides a stronger basis for confidence in the deposit-taking sector. "In addition, improved disclosure and credit ratings will assist depositors to make better-informed investment decisions," he said.

It will be mandatory for all deposit takers to obtain a credit rating by March 2010. Mr Fiennes stressed that this is less than a year away, and deposit takers should be actively seeking to obtain these ratings now to avoid the risk of being unable to obtain a credit rating by March 2010 and therefore being in breach of the law.

"Credit ratings from approved rating agencies will play an important role in the new regulatory regime. Credit ratings assist depositors to better appreciate the risk they are taking and the rewards they are getting when they invest their money."

Mr Fiennes said trustees are the frontline supervisors who are responsible for monitoring trust deed compliance, reporting to the Reserve Bank and enforcing compliance. "This will require trustees to be proactive, focused and assertive with their supervisory role. The Reserve Bank Act requires the Bank to review the NBDT regime, including the role of trustees within four years.

"The Reserve Bank looks forward to an effective working relationship with trustees and other regulatory agencies. We will ensure that we continue to encourage a collaborative approach so as to achieve a more resilient and enduring NBDT sector in the future," Mr Fiennes concluded.

For further information contact:
Anthea Black,
04 4713767,
021 2225225,
[email protected]