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Regulating non-bank deposit takers

Felicity Barker, Noemi Javier

The non-bank deposit taking (NBDT) sector comprises building societies, credit unions and finance companies. NBDTs can play an important role in the economy, providing services complementary to those provided by banks. In recent years, many finance companies have failed, resulting in a significant loss of value in the sector. These failures have revealed weaknesses in the operating models of several finance companies, such as high levels of related party exposures and inadequate capitalisation relative to the risks taken. On 1 December 2010, NBDTs became subject to new regulatory requirements relating to capital adequacy, related party exposures, liquidity and governance. This represents a further step in the implementation of a new prudential regulatory regime administered by the Reserve Bank.