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Proposals to enhance clarity of risk weighting requirements

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand - Te Pūtea Matua is proposing changes to how banks should apply risk weightings to their exposures under bank capital adequacy rules.

We are in the process of phasing in the Capital Review decisions from December 2019. These are designed to make the banking system safer for all New Zealanders by reducing the likelihood of bank failure, lifting financial stability and protecting people from the economic and social impacts associated with the failure of a bank.

The proposals cover our responses to some questions banks asked us to look at during consultations about the implementation of the Capital Review decisions during 2021. We are proposing a number of small amendments and clarifications to address their questions. The consultation also covers the treatment of the Business Growth Fund.

The proposed changes are designed to improve clarity and transparency, but have little impact on the overall parameters of the changes announced in December 2019.

The consultation paper covers 6 areas where we have considered changes to the approach to risk weighting in response to feedback from stakeholders.

We are seeking feedback on our proposals to lower the risk weighting on First Home Loans underwritten by Kāinga Ora and to reduce the risk weighting of bank equity exposures to the Business Growth Fund.

Other areas covered in the consultation paper include:

  • Sovereigns, Public Sector Entities and Multilateral Development Banks
  • Reverse Residential Mortgage Loans
  • Cross-method guarantees
  • Qualifying Central Counterparties

What are risk weights?

Risk weights are used to convert the actual size of an exposure into a risk-weighted asset. A more risky exposure will have a higher risk weight. Banks are required to hold a minimum percentage of capital against these risk weighted exposures. Higher risk exposures mean a bank will need more capital — money provided by the owners (shareholders) of a bank. This ensures that the owners have a meaningful stake in the bank  the more the bank’s owners have to lose, the more they will want to make sure the bank is run properly.

The paper covers a wide range of topics. 

There are 2 closing dates for submissions.

  • Submissions on the proposals for the risk weighting of exposures to the Business Growth Fund close at 5pm 30 November 2022.
  • Submissions on all other topics in this consultation paper close at 5pm 28 February 2023

More information

Media contact

James Weir
Senior Adviser External Stakeholders
DDI: +64 4 471 3962 | MOB: 021 103 1622
Email: [email protected]