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Reserve Bank seeking views on proposal to increase bank capital

Just three weeks remain for people to share their thoughts about proposals to increase minimum bank capital levels and make the banking system safer.

Just three weeks remain for people to share their thoughts about proposals to increase minimum bank capital levels and make the banking system safer.

The Reserve Bank is consulting on proposals to increase the amount of capital banks must have, to ensure they can withstand financial and economic shocks. This change would make bank failures less likely and ensure that bank shareholders have a meaningful stake in their bank, so that they absorb a greater share of losses their bank might face.

“The soundness and efficiency of our banking system is one of the most critical factors in ensuring New Zealand’s sustainable economic wellbeing,” said Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr.

“This is an important policy and we welcome views from all quarters. We are open-minded to all the information we receive, and will follow a thorough and transparent process in making final decisions.”

This is the fourth public consultation opportunity in the Reserve Bank’s ongoing review of bank capital adequacy, and closes on 3 May 2019.

Mr Orr said: “Banks have been discussing the proposals with us, sharing their views and engaging positively. Submissions from the banking industry are expected to help us assess issues around the feasibility of the proposals, while submissions from wider stakeholders provide greater insight into what matters for New Zealanders. We are really interested in hearing views from all parties.”

To date the Reserve Bank has received 19 submissions. To make it easier for people to share their views, the Reserve Bank is providing a simple online form that anyone can use to share their thoughts about the proposals. Feedback will be made public after consultation closes.

“These proposals would affect us all as New Zealanders. We want to hear views from everyone – from banks and businesses, to people from all walks of life. Whether you agree or disagree with our proposals, or would like to contribute to the discussion, we want to hear from you.”

The Reserve Bank will also continue its programme of engagement with stakeholders, encouraging them to consider the proposals and share their views.

“We held a forum with the banking industry in February to discuss the analytical framework supporting the proposals and there have also been a number of bilateral meetings with individual banks to discuss aspects of the proposals. We have a standing offer to engage further bilaterally with banks, and we welcome opportunities to engage with other interested parties,” Mr Orr said. 

Simple summaries:

Technical information:

Media contact:
Angus Barclay
External Communications Adviser
Phone: 04-471-3698 or 027-337-1102
Email: [email protected]

Appendix - Capital Review Consultation Timeline

May – Oct 2017

July – Nov 2017

Dec 2017 – July 2018

Dec 2018

January 2019

February 2019

March 2019

  • Briefing for UBS analysts and clients
  • Briefing for ACT party

April 2019

May – June 2019

  • Round four of public consultation closes
  • Publish submissions and summary of what they say
  • Presentation at IMF / World Bank conference

September quarter 2019

  • Publish a response to submissions
  • Publish a Regulatory Impact Statement
  • Decisions on appropriate risk appetite for banking crises and level of capital required
  • Decisions on which financial instruments qualify as ‘high quality’ (Tier 1), and which financial instruments will remain eligible as capital
  • Decisions on changes to the risk-weighted assets framework
  • Decisions on transition – i.e. how much time banks have to comply with decisions