Why do banks publish disclosure statements?
All registered banks operating in New Zealand are required by law to publish a disclosure statement twice a year. We administer these disclosure requirements, which are set out in Orders in Council.
Banks are required to publish disclosure statements to:
- strengthen the incentives for them to maintain sound banking practices
- help depositors and other investors make well-informed decisions on where to put their money.
Bank financial strength dashboard
Our bank financial strength dashboard (the dashboard), which we launched in 2018, complements the existing disclosure regime by showing the financial information of all banks side by side to make it easy to compare banks.
We update the dashboard each quarter from statistical returns submitted by banks incorporated in New Zealand.
A bank's disclosure statement must contain certain statements (known as attestations) signed by each director of the bank. These statements must include whether the bank has:
- systems in place to monitor and control adequately the banking group's significant risks and whether those systems are being properly applied
- complied with its conditions of registration over the period covered by the disclosure statement.
Attestations by directors strengthen the incentive for them to oversee, and take ultimate responsibility for, the sound management of their bank. Directors can face criminal and civil penalties under the Banking (Prudential Supervision) Act 1989 if information contained in a disclosure statement is found to be false or misleading.
What do disclosure statements cover?
A bank’s disclosure statement has a wide range of financial and other information with the aim of providing a broad and reasonably up-to-date view of the bank. The disclosure statement for the bank's full financial year contains more comprehensive information than the half-yearly statement.
A major part of a bank’s disclosure statement comprises its financial statements, starting with the income statement and balance sheet. These are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting practice. Other important information in the financial statements includes the bank's:
- level of impaired assets and the loan loss provisions against them
- lending concentrations to individual large borrowers, industry sectors and geographical regions
- liquidity risk profile.
Disclosure statements also report other matters not covered in the financial statements, such as:
- the bank’s credit ratings
Common Equity Tier 1 and total capital ratios (on a group basis), calculated in accordance with our minimum capital adequacy requirements
- information on guarantees of its obligations
- the conditions of registration we have imposed on the bank.
Some of the information is only included as a matter of course in the full-year disclosure statement and updated in the half-year disclosure statement if there has been a significant change in the meantime.
Overseas bank branches
A bank that is incorporated overseas and operates a branch in New Zealand (rather than as a separate company) is required to disclose information, both for the New Zealand branch and for the overseas bank of which it is part. This includes the financial statements for its overseas banking activities as a whole.
Overseas branches are not required to hold capital in New Zealand. However, the overseas bank is required to comply in its home country with the standard international minimum capital requirements. It must include information on this in its New Zealand disclosure statement.
The responsibilities of directors of registered banks apply equally to the New Zealand chief executive officers of overseas branches.
For members of the public interested in banks' disclosure statements, further information is available in Your bank's disclosure statement.
Enquiries about a particular bank's disclosure statement should be made to that bank.
For summary comparative information on locally-incorporated banks, see the Dashboard.
The Reserve Bank compiles comparative tables summarising key information extracted from all registered banks' disclosure statements. From May 2018 onwards, only the comparative table for branches of overseas banks is being updated, as the Dashboard now covers locally-incorporated banks.
Go to the statistics section
For registered banks, the disclosure requirements themselves are set out in separate Orders in Council on the disclosure requirements page.