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Restructure of the Banking Supervision Handbook

An outline of our work to restructure and redesign the Banking Supervision Handbook. As a result of the Capital Review, we are renaming the Banking Handbook as Bank Prudential Requirements.

About the restructure

Our 2015 regulatory stocktake identified the restructure of the Banking Supervision Handbook as an important new project in four stages. Work began in 2016 and is due to be completed at the end of 2022.

On 1 October 2021, the new Capital Review policy came into force and Banking Prudential Requirements take effect.

Stage 1: Capital Adequacy Framework

The first and most challenging stage involved reorganising and clarifying the documents that make up the Capital Adequacy Framework. Work progressed between 2016 and 2019 as resourcing allowed, and benefited from feedback from a banking industry working group.

As part of our work on the Capital Review, we decided we should issue the replacement documents for the new Capital Adequacy Framework at the same time as we implemented the Capital Review policy changes.

Read more about the Capital Review

Read our 5 December 2019 announcement on the Capital Review

Exposure drafts published

Following delays arising from COVID-19, we published the full set of exposure drafts to implement the new Capital Adequacy Framework on 17 November 2020.

Read consultation on exposure draft for Capital Review implementation changes

We have now taken on board feedback on the exposure drafts and published the final set of documents on 17 June 2021.

See final banking prudential requirements

The requirements set out in these documents took effect from 1 October 2021, via changes to banks' conditions of registration.

Stage 2 to 4: Other handbook documents

We have made some progress on standardising and rationalising the other handbook documents that do not cover capital adequacy. We will resume work on these now the capital adequacy documents have been finalised.

We plan to publish the full, revamped Banking Prudential Requirements during 2022.

Chronology of consultation


We released the Exposure drafts for new Capital Review policy for consultation in November 2020, along with the renamed handbook, Banking Prudential Requirements.

We consulted on the details for implementing the final Capital Review decisions announced in December 2019. Some of the most significant changes in the consultation included implementing the new rules for instruments that make up a bank’s capital, and consulting about the responses we would take if a bank does not meet capital buffer requirements.

Go to Consultation on exposure draft for Capital Review Implementation changes


Decision to align with capital review consultation

Higher bank capital means safer banking system for all New Zealanders 

On 5 December 2019, we released our final decisions following our comprehensive review of our capital framework for banks, known as the Capital Review.

The decisions to increase capital requirements were aimed at making the banking system safer for all New Zealanders, and would ensure bank owners have a meaningful stake in their businesses.

The key decisions, which started to take effect from 1 July 2020, included banks’ total capital increasing from a minimum of 10.5% to 18% for the four large banks and 16% for the remaining smaller banks. The average level of capital held by banks previously was 14.1%.

The final decisions also included:

  • more flexibility for banks on the use of specific capital instruments
  • a more cost-effective mix of funding options for banks
  • a lesser increase in capital for the smaller banks consistent with their more limited impact on society should they fail
  • a more level capital regime for all banks – with the four large banks having to measure the risks of their exposures (lending) more conservatively, more in line with the smaller banks
  • more transparency in capital reporting.

Key documents:


Restructure of Banking Supervision Handbook begins.


Restructure of Banking Supervision Handbook proposed.