The Banking Supervision Handbook - banking supervision policy documents and regulations

This page contains the handbook documents and Orders in Council setting out the details of the policy framework and rules that apply to registered banks. The information is updated from time to time.

Recent changes to the Banking Supervision Handbook

May 2019 - the Reserve Bank has issued a revised version of "Statement of Principles - Bank registration and Supervision" (BS1). This includes changes in the standard wording of locally-incorporated banks' conditions of registration for capital, and amendments to out-of-date descriptions of the registered bank disclosure regime.

December 2018 - the Reserve Bank has issued a revised version of “Framework for restrictions on high-LVR residential mortgage lending” (BS19) to come into effect on 1 January 2019. This includes a minor change in the construction exemption, to clarify that it covers any loan for a residential property purchase under the government’s Kiwibuild programme.

October 2018 - the Reserve Bank has made the following technical changes to the Liquidity Policy Annex (BS13A):

  • Added “Qualifying Crown Agents” to the list of Primary Liquid Assets in Annex 1;
  • Added the Local Government Funding Agency (LGFA) to the Local authorities securities category in Annex 1; and
  • Amended the eligibility limits that apply to Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) and Registered Certificates of Deposits (RCD) to reference total assets in the monthly Bank Balance Sheet Survey, rather than reference total assets in the registered bank’s latest disclosure statement.

Table of contents


Document Reference

Date of Issue

Statement of principles – bank registration and supervision (PDF 387KB)


May 2019

Capital adequacy framework (standardised approach) (PDF 1.3MB)


November 2015

Capital Adequacy Framework (internal models based approach) (PDF 1.1MB)


November 2015

Application for status as a registered bank: Material to be provided to the Reserve Bank (PDF 90KB)


March 2011

Audit obligations (PDF 68KB)


June 2014

Guidelines on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (PDF 71KB)


June 2016

Market risk guidance notes (PDF 285KB)


March 2011

Registered bank disclosure regime – overview of Orders in Council and related documents (PDF 56KB)


March 2018

Registered bank disclosure regime – explanatory information on Orders in Council (PDF 679KB)


June 2018

Connected Exposures Policy (PDF 70KB)


November 2015

Application for consent to acquire or increase significant influence over a registered bank: Material to be provided to the Reserve Bank (PDF 53KB)


April 2013

Review of Suitability of Bank Directors and Senior Managers (PDF 62KB)


March 2011

Outsourcing Policy (PDF 252KB)


September 2017

Guidelines on a Bank's Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process ("ICAAP") (PDF 49KB)


December 2007

Liquidity Policy (PDF 709KB)


January 2018

Liquidity Policy Annex: Liquid Assets (PDF 182KB)


October 2018

Corporate Governance (PDF 95KB)


July 2014

Significant Acquisitions Policy (PDF 129KB)


December 2011

Application requirements for capital recognition or repayment and notification requirements in respect of capital (PDF 189KB)


November 2015

Open Bank Resolution (OBR) Pre-positioning Requirements Policy (PDF 259KB)


September 2013

Registration of Covered Bonds: process and information requirements (PDF 79KB)


December 2013

Framework for Restrictions on High-LVR Residential Mortgage Lending (PDF 447KB)


January 2019

Orders in Council (disclosure requirements)

Registered Bank Disclosure Statements (New Zealand Incorporated Registered Banks) Order 2014 (as amended) (PDF 474KB)

Local OIC

March 2018

Registered Bank Disclosure Statements (Overseas Incorporated Registered Banks) Order 2014 (as amended) (PDF 295KB)

Branch OIC

March 2018

List of documents "Incorporated by Reference" in the OICs

List of quasi-sovereign agencies and supranationals for the OICs (PDF 92KB)



Information on the handbook

Registered banks and their advisers are encouraged to make the handbook the first point of reference on specific matters relating to banking supervision. Where a matter is not addressed in the handbook, the matter should be raised with the Reserve Bank. In general, the appropriate contact person at the Reserve Bank will be the analyst responsible for the registered bank concerned.

You can subscribe to an email list which will keep you informed of updates to the Banking Supervision handbook. There is no charge for this service.

For other queries regarding this handbook, please email

Accompanying documents for the outsourcing policy

Under the outsourcing policy (BS11) dated September 2017, the Reserve Bank may issue a list of exempt functions and services (the 'white list'). The Reserve Bank may also issue a List of Pre-approved Functions and Services. Banks may enter in arrangements captured on this list without requiring non-objection from the Reserve Bank but must still ensure such arrangements comply with the rest of the policy.

BS11 also allows the Reserve Bank to issue applications forms to assist banks.

Outsourcing Transitional

The 2006 version of the Outsourcing Policy has been superseded. However, any bank that was subject to the Outsourcing Policy as at 30 September 2017 will continue to have to meet any relevant requirements of the 2006 policy for a transitional period of 5 years from that date, as well as being subject to the current version of the policy referred to in the main table above.


Document Reference

Date of Issue

Outsourcing Policy (PDF 45KB)


January 2006

Basel III Transitionals

These are specific (expired) versions of Banking Supervision Handbook documents that are referred to by the current versions of the same documents.


Document Reference

Date of Issue

BS2A October 2010 Expired (PDF 1.1MB)


October 2010

BS2B August 2012 Expired (PDF 2.3MB)


August 2012