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Questions and answers: Phase 2 of the Review of the Reserve Bank Act - second round of consultation

Issue date: 
Monday, 24 June 2019
Document Date: 
Monday, 24 Jun 2019
Publication category: 

Purpose and background

What is the rationale for the Review and what does it cover?

In November 2017, the government announced a two-phased review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 (the ‘Act’). The goal of the Review is to modernise New Zealand’s monetary and financial stability policy frameworks and the Reserve Bank’s governance and accountability settings. The Review is being conducted in two phases. Phase 1 (which is now complete) focused on improving the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy framework.

Phase 2 is a wide ranging review of the Reserve Bank’s financial stability role and broader governance arrangements. The terms of reference for Phase 2 were released on 7 June 2018. Much has changed in the international financial environment and with financial system regulation since the Act was first passed. The scope for Phase 2 will enable the Review to ensure the Act is fit for purpose and aligned with what the government considers will provide a strong, flexible, and enduring regulatory framework that enjoys broad public and industry support.

Everyone benefits from a sound and resilient financial system. The Review will ensure that the framework within which the banking sector is regulated and supervised enables the Reserve Bank to perform its role effectively. The Review will also be considering the legislative basis for managing and resolving bank distress.

Who is conducting the Review?

A Review team jointly resourced by the Treasury and the Reserve Bank will complete the work. The Review team is governed by a steering committee jointly chaired by the Treasury and the Reserve Bank.

An Independent Expert Advisory Panel (the Panel) advise on key issues to support the work of the Review team and the steering committee. The Panel consists of Suzanne Snively (Chair), Malcolm Edey, and Girol Karacaoglu, Barbara Chapman, Belinda Moffat, and John Sproat.

Why are there multiple rounds of consultation in Phase 2 of the Review?

The terms of reference for Phase 2 are broad and comprehensive, and there are interdependencies between the topics. Given the scope and interdependencies, it would be difficult to consult on all topics at the same time, so the consultation has been split into three rounds. The first round of consultation covered topics critical to shaping the direction of the Review and its overall outcomes, and has provided a basis for the second and third rounds of consultation.

What topics were included in the first round of consultation?

The key topics included in the first round of consultation are listed below:

  • What high-level financial policy objectives should the Reserve Bank have?

  • Whom does the Reserve Bank regulate and how should the regulatory perimeter be set?

  • Should there be depositor protection in New Zealand?

  • Should prudential regulation and supervision be separated from the Reserve Bank?

  • How should the Reserve Bank be governed?

What feedback on the first consultation document was received from stakeholders?

The Review team received 67 written submissions during the first consultation period. By type of submitter, the Review team received:

  • 20 submissions from individuals. The individuals included three former Reserve Bank Governors and several academics
  • 14 submissions from individual regulated entities, including banks, non-bank deposit takers (NBDTs) and insurers
  • 17 from industry or advocacy bodies including the New Zealand Bankers’ Association (NZBA), the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ), and Consumer NZ
  • 10 from other submitters including various consultancy and law firms, and
  • 4 anonymous and 2 confidential submissions.

A summary of the written submissions received on the first consultation document is available at rbnz-summary-sub-1-consultation.pdf.

Is the Review going to consider the capital adequacy framework for registered banks currently being conducted by the Reserve Bank?

Not directly. The Review team will not advise on the current review of the capital adequacy framework being conducted by the Reserve Bank under the existing legislative framework. However, the Review will consider the design and nature of the prudential powers available to the Reserve Bank, which include powers to impose capital requirements. The legislative basis for prudential regulation grants the Reserve Bank significant flexibility and discretion to set prudential rules and keep them up to date. The Review presents an opportunity to provide more clarity around the scope of the Reserve Bank’s rule-making power, and the level of Parliamentary oversight and transparency involved. Options for improving the prudential framework are considered in chapter 1 of Consultation Document 2B.

How long will the Review take? When will legislation be enacted?

A third and final consultation will take place later in 2019 before final recommendations on remaining issues are delivered to the Minister of Finance. All rounds of consultation are planned to be completed by the end of 2019 with decisions on any legislative changes made in 2019 and 2020. It is envisaged that legislation to enact the main decisions stemming from the Review could be introduced within the current Parliamentary term.

The second round of consultation

What topics will be covered in the two consultation documents?

Consultation Document 2A sets out in-principle decisions on topics covered in the first consultation and seeks further feedback on more detailed elements of these topics.

Consultation Document 2B seeks feedback on the remaining topics set out in the Review’s terms of reference. These topics are:

  • the legal basis for bank regulation
  • macro-prudential policy
  • the approach to bank regulation, supervision, and enforcement
  • management of the Reserve Bank’s balance sheet
  • crisis management
  • coordination with other agencies
  • the Reserve Bank’s resourcing and funding.

The role of the Reserve Bank (in its role as prudential regulator and supervisor) in assessing and responding to the risks to New Zealand’s financial stability posed by climate change is also considered.

Why are in-principle decisions being taken before the Review is complete?

In-principle decisions are needed to clarify the expected direction of travel for topics covered in the first consultation. This is because a number of these topics have interdependencies with work on other areas of the Review, which needed to be progressed for this second round of consultation. For example, an in-principle decision on whether the Reserve Bank retains responsibility for prudential regulation is needed to determine how to best progress work on the governance arrangements for prudential responsibilities.

What preliminary decisions have been taken?

Consultation Document 2A outlines a number of in-principle decisions that have been taken following the first public consultation. These include:

  • keeping responsibility for all prudential regulation functions with the Reserve Bank
  • replacing the Reserve Bank’s existing ‘soundness’ and ‘efficiency’ financial policy objectives with a single overarching ‘financial stability’ objective
  • establishing a new governance board, which will be given statutory authority over all Reserve Bank decisions (other than those reserved for the Monetary Policy Committee)
  • establishing the Treasury as the Reserve Bank’s monitoring agent 
  • combining the separate regulatory regimes for banks and non-bank deposit takers (institutions that are not registered banks, such as finance companies and building societies) into a single ‘licensed deposit taker’ perimeter
  • developing a formal depositor protection scheme that will protect depositors’ savings up to an insured limit, currently proposed within a range of $30,000-50,000.

What topics will be included in the third round of consultation?

We expect the third round of consultation to update stakeholders on any decisions taken, and to revisit elements of some of the topics set out in Consultation 2B.

Consultation Document 2A – the Role of the Reserve Bank and how it should be governed

Objectives

Why is the Reserve Bank’s existing ‘soundness’ and ‘efficiency’ financial policy objectives being replaced with a single over-arching ‘financial stability’ objective?

‘Financial stability’ is seen as a clearer, more modern, internationally accepted term that is more relevant to the Reserve Bank’s broad role in safeguarding the financial system. It provides direction for all of the Reserve Bank’s financial policy functions, from prudential regulation to crisis management. It also encapsulates the most relevant aspects of soundness and efficiency in a singular objective, removing ambiguity over how to weight objectives, and providing clarity of focus.

Most stakeholders supported replacing the Reserve Bank’s existing objectives with a high-level financial stability objective, while noting that it should be complemented by a fuller ‘objective set’ to guide the Reserve Bank in undertaking its various financial policy functions. In particular, stakeholders noted that it would be important to retain and clarify the Reserve Bank’s role in supporting ‘financial system efficiency’ when developing the broader objective set.

Will the Reserve Bank consider the efficiency of the financial system as part of its responsibilities?

Efficiency remains a fundamental building block of an effective financial system, but its definition is unclear. In response to Consultation Document 1, most stakeholders thought there was a place for a clarified definition of efficiency in the Reserve Bank’s objective set, albeit at a lower tier.

Views were mixed about which elements of efficiency should be included. Chapter 2 of Consultation Document 2A explores five elements of efficiency that could be included as lower-tier objectives in the objective set and asks for stakeholders’ views as to which should be included. These five elements of efficiency are:

  • Minimising the regulatory burden on firms and using regulatory resources cost-effectively
  • Facilitating effective competition in the financial sector
  • Facilitating the development of New Zealand’s capital markets
  • Facilitating effective innovation in New Zealand’s financial sector
  • Promoting efficient credit allocation

What mechanism could be used to provide the Reserve Bank with further clarity on its financial policy functions?

Chapter 2 of Consultation Document 2A considers three mechanisms through which the Reserve Bank could be given further clarity on how to pursue its financial policy objectives:

  • Additional detail in primary legislation – this could include a definition of ‘financial stability’ and a set of lower-tier objectives (such as facilitating effective competition in the financial sector), which the Reserve Bank would have to consider when performing its financial policy functions.
  • A government direction or ‘financial policy remit’ – the Government already has the ability to influence the Reserve Bank’s actions by commenting on its strategy, issuing a letter of expectation, and formally directing the Reserve Bank to have regard to government policy. The Government could also be required to issue formal guidance to the Reserve Bank in the form of a ‘financial policy remit’. Following Phase 1 of the Reserve Bank Act Review, a remit was created for the new Monetary Policy Committee to provide guidance on the operational objectives of monetary policy. A financial policy remit could be crafted for a similar purpose, albeit with different kinds of guidance. For example, a financial policy remit could include a ‘risk appetite statement’, which states the Government’s tolerance for financial crises, to help guide the Reserve Bank in how strictly it should set prudential standards.
  • Discretion to the Reserve Bank – the Reserve Bank could also be given discretion to interpret its objectives and define its own performance measures, provided it publicised its approach in advance. It is already required to do this to some extent via the annual Statement of Intent (SOI) process. However, some stakeholders have criticised the SOI for not being transparent enough.

Why is the Review considering the Reserve Bank’s role in addressing the risks presented by climate change?

 Climate change and society’s response to it, presents financial risks to the economy through two channels:

  • Physical risks related to the effects of climate change – climate and weather-related events can lower the value of certain assets, such as beachfront homes at risk from sea-level rise, and farming assets exposed to the effects of droughts and floods. These risks have implications for bank lending and insurance pricing and availability.
  • Risks associated with the transition to a lower-carbon economy – changes in climate policy, technology or market sentiment could prompt a reassessment of the value of a range of assets, such as fossil fuel resources or high-emission agriculture.

While reducing the risks of climate change has traditionally been seen as a government responsibility (via policy), there is growing recognition that financial system participants, including central banks and financial regulators, can have a role in mitigating the financial risks of climate-related factors.

This is why climate change is being considered in this Review and why it was included as one of the topics in the Terms of Reference for Phase 2 of the Reserve Bank Act Review.

Depositor Protection

Why is a range of $30,000 - $50,000 for the proposed depositor protection scheme proposed?

Available data suggests that a protection limit in the range of $30,000 - $50,000 could fully protect from loss more than 90 percent of individual bank depositors in New Zealand, while leaving the majority of banks’ deposit funding exposed to risk. This would strike the right balance between protecting small depositors from loss and enhancing public confidence in the banking system on the one hand, while maintaining private incentives to monitor bank risk taking on the other. It would also be broadly consistent with international schemes in terms of the share of deposits and depositors that would be fully protected (albeit relatively low in terms of the absolute dollar value of protections).

More work will be required to choose the limit within this range that is the best for advancing the public policy objectives chosen for the protection scheme. The consultation seeks feedback on these choices.

The Reserve Bank is proposing high capital requirements for banks which should reduce the risk of bank failure. Why is depositor protection required if the risk of bank failure is small?

Even with high capital requirements, banks can still fail for a variety of reasons. Regulation, supervision, resolution, and deposit protection all make up a ‘financial safety net’ that supports a stable and resilient financial system and protects society from the damage caused by bank failures. The safety net tools interact and overlap, which can make it seem that not all of the tools are necessary. However, if the safety net is incomplete, it will be difficult to find effective solutions for dealing with serious problems in the banking system. This means that capital tools that help to keep banks safe and sound at the ‘top of the cliff’, must be complemented by robust tools to deal with banks that may still fall to the bottom.

The OECD and IMF have warned that, without depositor protection, New Zealand is vulnerable to contagious bank runs. Bank runs can escalate into banking crises that destroy social and financial capital. For New Zealand’s safety net to be effective in good times and bad, the tools within the net must each be strong in its own right, and work well together.

How will the risks associated with moral hazard be addressed in the proposed depositor protection scheme?

Moral hazard arises when people are protected from the consequences of their risky behaviour. If deposit protection is introduced, depositors may take less care when assessing the risks associated with their banks, and banks may take less care with depositors’ money. Moral hazard costs are part of the reason why New Zealand has until now chosen not to have a depositor protection regime.

There is considerable international experience on how to design an effective deposit protection scheme, within the broader financial safety net, that mitigates moral hazard. International experience demonstrates that strong regulatory monitoring of deposit-takers’ corporate governance and risk management systems goes a long way to addressing the moral hazard of depositor protection.  Maintaining private monitoring incentives is also important, and can be achieved through carefully calibrating the protection scheme’s scope of coverage. For example, setting the protection limit at a level that fully covers most household and small business depositors, but leaves large institutional depositors exposed to risk, will support private monitoring incentives. In conjunction, having effective resolution tools (that make it more credible investors’ money is at risk should their institution fail) can sharpen monitoring by institutional investors.

International practice and guidance, as well as the views of experts and the public, will inform the design of New Zealand’s depositor protection scheme.  

What are the costs of funding the proposed depositor protection scheme and who will bear these costs?

A primary tool of the protection scheme will be insurance. Deposit insurance transfers the risks and costs of bank failures away from depositors onto an insurance scheme. This will come with upfront costs of establishing a deposit insurer, and ongoing operational costs.

Modern deposit insurance schemes are normally funded by levies on member banks, supported (where necessary) by temporary lending paid for by taxpayers. If the insurance scheme is accompanied by a depositor preference, this might also increase banks’ non-deposit funding costs as risks are transferred from depositors onto institutional investors.

Details of the scheme, including costs, are still to be worked out in the next phase of the work programme. To the extent that depositor protection increases banks’ average costs, this might be passed on to customers through higher mortgage rates or lower deposit rates. Alternatively, costs might be absorbed by banks’ own margins and retained earnings. The extent to which costs are shared between banks and their customers depends on competition and contestability in the sector.

A fuller cost-benefit analysis will follow as we learn more about the specific design features of New Zealand’s depositor protection scheme.

When will the depositor protection scheme be introduced?

A work programme running alongside the Reserve Bank Review process will develop a depositor protection scheme that is best for New Zealand. The work programme will be guided by a framework setting out some key design principles for an effective scheme, and will draw (where relevant) on international standards and best practice. The work programme will determine the:

  • mandates and powers
  • governance and decision making structure
  • coordination arrangements with other safety net providers
  • membership and coverage arrangements
  • funding and pay-out mechanics, and
  • design features to mitigate moral hazard 

that are appropriate for New Zealand’s protection scheme. The Review Team’s discussions with the global coordinating body for deposit insurers indicates that the path from policy recommendations to scheme implementation will probably take at least two years. 

Governance

Why is the Reserve Bank moving to a board governance structure?

Through the new governance board, group decision-making will be embedded at the highest level of the Reserve Bank. This will help to bring diverse perspectives and experiences to key decisions and protect against individual biases and preferences. It will also enable more robust accountability for decisions by creating a clearer split between the governance and management functions (with management functions being delegated to the Governor).

The board governance model is already used by all New Zealand Crown entities (including the Financial Markets Authority), is well understood domestically and internationally, and is underpinned by robust legal and corporate governance frameworks.

Phase 1 established a monetary policy committee for financial policy. Why is a different approach being taken for financial policy?

The prudential policy framework is less mature than the monetary policy framework, and differences between monetary and prudential policy mean that the optimal decision-making structure is not necessarily the same for both.

Monetary policy typically tends to centre on one key decision made on a regular basis: setting appropriate interest rates. Monetary policy is also generally underpinned by a clear (inflation-related) target or range. These characteristics mean that monetary policy can be reasonably well demarcated from other policy areas and decided on by a specialist committee. In contrast, prudential policy applies to a wide range of financial institutions and involves decisions on numerous policies, tools and approaches, including capital, liquidity, macro-prudential settings, supervision, and enforcement. Consequently, a specialist committee may not represent the most effective governance model to manage the wide-ranging nature of financial policy responsibilities.

A board model is also well understood domestically and internationally, and underpinned by robust legal and corporate governance frameworks. In contrast to monetary policy where committees are common practice, a statutory financial policy committee (FPC) is seldom used for prudential policy internationally (with the Bank of England being a notable exception) and no Crown entities have statutory committees.

What is the governor’s role in the proposed governance arrangements?

The Governor is the Reserve Bank’s chief executive officer (CEO) and chair of the monetary policy committee. As such, the Governor would be the highest-ranking executive and key public face of the Reserve Bank.

As CEO, the Governor will be responsible for the overall success of the Reserve Bank by leading the development and execution of the Reserve Bank’s strategy, managing the overall operations and resources, acting as the main point of communication between the board and management, and being the public face of the Reserve Bank. The Governor’s powers would be covered by delegations from the board.

A Treasury representative is an observer on the monetary policy committee (MPC) and the Treasury will be the external monitor of the Reserve Bank. Will these arrangements create conflicts of interest for the Treasury and how will any conflicts be dealt with?

It will be important to distinguish between the Treasury’s role as monitor (on behalf of the Minister) and the Treasury observer on the MPC. In the former role, the Treasury will be monitoring the performance of the board and the MPC. In the latter role, the Treasury observer will primarily support MPC decision-making and help to coordinate monetary and fiscal policy, with both functions subject to conditions of confidentiality and avoiding conflicts of interest.

The Treasury will consequently need to ensure that the monitor and observer roles are separate, so as to mitigate any conflicts of interest. For example, if members of the MPC view the Treasury observer as part of the performance-monitoring function, discussions and debates at the MPC may be constrained, with impacts on decision-making quality.

The Reserve Bank Act requires that the MPC has arrangements in place dealing with conflicts of interest and the treatment of sensitive information. A code of conduct for members of the MPC must be in force at all times. The code must provide for minimum standards of conduct, including rules for managing and avoiding conflicts of interest, and rules for maintaining the confidentiality of information. The current code of conduct is available at Monetary Policy Committee Code of Conduct (pdf).

In addition, on acceptance of the Governor’s invitation to be an observer on the MPC, the Secretary to the Treasury provided details around how conflicts will be managed by the Treasury observer and a confidentiality protocol. Under the protocol, the Treasury observer cannot share details of the MPC’s discussion with anyone prior to the decision being announced without the Governor’s agreement. Full details of the arrangements in place are available here.

Separation

Why is the Reserve Bank retaining its prudential responsibilities?

There are compelling reasons for retaining prudential regulation and supervision within the Reserve Bank including the ability to coordinate different policy areas and exploit key synergies (e.g. between prudential policy and monetary policy), particularly during periods of financial stress.

Separation would likely increase the overall cost of financial sector regulation, and involve potentially significant transition costs while a new agency was being set up. New Zealand does not necessarily have the scale or capacity to support two agencies, both tasked, in different ways, with supporting financial stability. Moreover, the international direction travel post-GFC is to give central banks more responsibility for financial policy, not less.

How are concerns that stakeholders have raised about the Reserve Bank continuing to be responsible for prudential regulation being addressed?

Stakeholders raised concerns about New Zealand’s prudential framework and how the Reserve Bank undertakes this responsibility. A small minority thought separation would best address various problems including a lack of clarity on objectives, concerns tied to the current single-decision-maker model, and a lack of capacity and capability for the prudential functions.

Most stakeholders, by contrast, agreed that an ‘enhanced status quo’ would be a preferable option to institutional separation. An enhanced status quo would involve the full suite of decisions from Phase 2 across the three consultations designed to improve the current prudential framework, but within the current broad allocation of financial system regulatory responsibilities.

To address the concerns of those advocating separation, decisions around shifting to some form of collective decision-making model will be particularly important (the in-principle decision to shift to a governance board), along with those future decisions that will affect the Reserve Bank’s resourcing for its prudential responsibilities. Decisions on resourcing will be influenced by discussion around the Reserve Bank’s regulatory and supervisory model (should the Reserve Bank implement a more intensive and internationally orthodox model), and the nature of how the Reserve Bank functions are funded (the degree of budgetary autonomy).

Regulatory perimeter

Why is the regulatory regime for banks and non-bank deposit takers being combined?

Banks and non-bank deposit takers both conduct broadly the same activities: they take deposits from the public and then lend out that money.

Banks and non-bank deposit takers are nonetheless regulated and supervised under different regimes. Banks are regulated and supervised by the Reserve Bank, while non-bank deposit takers are regulated by the Reserve Bank (but under a different set of rules) and supervised by trustees.

There are potential inefficiencies with this approach, both for regulated entities and the Reserve Bank. For example, differences may emerge between the two regimes that reduce regulatory neutrality and make it harder for certain types of entities to compete.

The in-principle decision to integrate the two regimes does not reflect a view that either the bank or non-bank deposit taking models suffer from flaws in isolation. Instead, it reflects the longer-term value that comes from simplifying the regime. For example, it would be harder to introduce deposit protection if some entities are subject to a different regime.
Both the UK and Australia operate similar models, in which all deposit takers are regulated under the same regime.

When will the integrated regulatory regime be introduced?

An integrated regulatory regime will not be introduced immediately and further policy work is required on questions such as how the regulatory perimeter is set, and whether the regime should include some differentiation of rules for different types of deposit taking firms. For example, there is a need to settle the outlines of any regime, such as the definition of a deposit taker. There is also a need to consider how existing entities will transition to the new regime, and what rules will apply to those entities. While all deposit takers will need to meet minimum standards, non-bank deposit takers transitioning into the regime will not necessarily be subject to the same rules as the larger banks. It is important that rules are calibrated to risk and complexity.

These questions, and the transitional arrangements that will apply, will be considered once feedback on the second round of consultation has been considered.

Consultation Document 2B – the Reserve Bank’s role in financial policy: tools, powers and approach

How is the Review covering macro-prudential policy?

The Review focuses on two things. First, it seeks feedback from the public on the conduct of macro-prudential policy since the macro-prudential framework was put in place in 2013. Macro-prudential policy has been an evolving area in New Zealand and globally, and it was agreed in 2013 that a review of the framework would be conducted after 5 years.
Second, the Review examines whether there should be special governance arrangements for macro-prudential policy, and the extent of powers the Reserve Bank should have in this area. Some macro-prudential tools like loan-to-value ratios (LVRs) have more of a direct impact on individual borrowers than standard prudential policy. Accordingly, in some countries, there are requirements for the macro-prudential authority to consult more widely before making decisions in areas like LVRs. The Review seeks public feedback on this issue.

Why is the Review examining the Reserve Bank’s approach to supervision?

In many respects the Reserve Bank’s approach to supervision is fairly unusual by international standards. Its approach is relatively ‘hands-off’ driven by a rationale that financial stability is best achieved by ensuring that risks are well understood by market participants (market discipline), with responsibility primarily resting with banks’ boards via director attestation (self-discipline). The Reserve Bank doesn’t routinely ‘second guess’ this attestation process nor ‘independently verify’ information provided to it by banks or other regulated entities (there are no ‘on-site’ inspections of regulated entities, except for AML/CFT purposes).

During the scoping of Phase 2 and the terms of reference, some stakeholders identified a number of concerns with the current model including how it is out of step with international norms, and an associated lack of capacity and capability for specialist supervisory tasks. The IMF’s 2016/17 Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP) for New Zealand also identified a number of ‘gaps’ in the Reserve Bank’s approach in relation to international standards (the Basel core principles for effective banking supervision).

As a result, the Review outlines the Reserve Bank’s approach to supervision, how it has evolved over time, and offers some options for stakeholders to consider that may improve the framework.

Given the IMF FSAP noted the Reserve Bank was under-resourced, is the Review considering the funding requirements of the Reserve Bank?

The Review is considering the funding arrangements for the Reserve Bank, including considering whether some activities should be funded through industry levies, but not the level of funding. Any funding model needs to ensure an appropriate balance between transparency, accountability and independence. The Phase 2 Review may result in changes in a number of areas with associated implications for the level of funding available to the Reserve Bank.

In the interim, the particular level of funding available to the Reserve Bank is outside the scope of the terms of reference of this Review. This will instead be considered through the existing funding agreement mechanism with the Reserve Bank, with the next funding agreement due to be agreed between the Governor and the Minister of Finance by June 2020.

The consultation document raises the potential for an industry levy to pay for prudential supervision. How large could this be?

The Review is considering the potential sources of funding, and one of these is industry levies. The Review is seeking feedback from stakeholders on the principle of enabling the use of industry levies. Any levy would only be able to recover up to the cost of providing particular functions, and would be calibrated in accordance with public sector cost recovery guidelines. The calibration itself is beyond the scope of the Review.

What does the Review propose in relation to OBR?

‘OBR’ is one ‘open bank resolution’ option developed by the Reserve Bank for resolving a failed bank using the powers currently available under the Act. The Review has identified a number of issues with the resolution powers currently available under the Act and has suggested that several improvements be considered. The suggestions include enabling the Reserve Bank to exercise resolution powers without having to invoke statutory management, enhancing the ability to stabilise and recapitalise a failed bank without taxpayer support, and – importantly – providing creditors with greater certainty as to how they will be treated and how their property rights will be protected. Together with the in-principle decision to introduce deposit insurance, these suggested changes would make an open bank-type of resolution better for depositors, creditors, and taxpayers.

The consultation process

How can I contribute?

The Review team welcomes written submissions on all of the matters raised in the main consultation document. An online form to assist with providing written comments is available at Public Consultation.

Stakeholders will also be able to provide feedback through consultation meetings that the Review team will hold with sectoral groups.

All written responses should be emailed to rbnzactreview@treasury.govt.nz. Alternatively, responses can be sent to the address below:

Phase 2 of the Reserve Bank Act Review
The Treasury
PO Box 3724
Wellington 6140

The deadline for submissions is 16 August 2019.

Will my submission be made public?

All submissions are subject to the Official Information Act 1982. Following the completion of the consultation process, the intention is to publish all submissions as well as a report summarising the key messages and emerging themes. A submitter may request that their submission be anonymised, and for all or part of their submission to be withheld from publication. The Review team will consider all requests to withhold information but reserves the right to release any information in compliance with the requirements of the Official Information Act 1982.

What information will be made available?

Background and supporting papers, including more detailed information on some of the topics being consulted on, are also available in addition to the main consultation documents.

In the spirit of conducting the Review in an open and transparent manner, the Review team intends to proactively release information relating to Phase 2. This information includes:

  • papers and presentations provided to the Panel
  • minutes of Panel meetings
  • reports to the Minister of Finance
  • cabinet papers
  • stakeholder submissions.

Further information about Phase 2 can be found at The Reserve Bank Act Review.

Last updated: 
Monday, 24 June 2019