Review of overseas bank branches underway

Release date
20 October 2021

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua is reviewing its policy for branches of overseas banks to keep pace with the evolving global regulatory environment.

The objective of the review is to create a simple, coherent and transparent policy framework for branches of overseas banks, Deputy Governor and General Manager for Financial Stability Geoff Bascand says.

“Overseas branches are a growing part of our financial system and it is timely to ensure their regulation and supervision promotes financial stability and that we are well placed to avoid significant damage to the financial system that could result if one failed,” Mr Bascand says.

“Branches of overseas banks can be an important link between our economy and global financial markets. They provide valued services to New Zealand businesses and households, and greater diversity to our banking system. But they can also pose special risks.”

There are 12 registered branches of overseas banks currently operating in New Zealand. The first branches we supervised were registered in New Zealand in 1987, while the most recent was registered in 2020, and global regulatory requirements have evolved significantly over that time.

“We have launched a review of our current branch policy as in its present form it is not applied consistently to all the branches we supervise; and there are inherent limitations on our ability to apply our regulatory standards to all branches and to supervise them effectively,” Mr Bascand says.

We welcome submissions on the policy questions set out in our Branch Policy consultation, and any alternative options or proposals, until 2 March 2022. We will also be hosting a webinar on Wednesday 27 October. Any interested parties are welcome to attend. To register your interest, please email [email protected].

More information

Media contact:
Brendan Manning
Senior Adviser External Stakeholders
DDI: +64 9 366 2643 | MOB: 021 923 217
Email: [email protected]