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Reserve Bank of New Zealand News Releases

Reserve Bank of New Zealand News Releases

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is New Zealand’s central bank. We promote a sound and dynamic monetary and financial system.

Articles by Reserve Bank of New Zealand News Releases

South Pacific Central Bank Governors' committed to cost effective remittances

5 days ago

Release date
20 November 2020

At the South Pacific Central Bank Governors’ Meeting on 17-18 November 2020, the South Pacific Governors agreed that access to cost-effective remittances remains a high priority focus for the region.
A key focus has been their collective effort to develop a regional ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) facility. The central banks, with support from the International Monetary Fund and other international agencies, have successfully completed an initial phase of work on a KYC facility for the South Pacific region. 
Simeon Malachi Athy, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu and host of the Meeting, said, “The intention of the facility is to improve customer due diligence processes and Anti-Money Laundering / Countering Financing of

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Reserve Bank reviewing internal information processes

7 days ago

Release date
18 November 2020

The Reserve Bank has engaged Deloitte to independently review internal processes, after information was accidentally disclosed to a small group of financial services firms a short time before it was made public in the November Monetary Policy Statement (MPS).
The accidental disclosure was included in a letter sent to non-bank financial institutions to finalise a consultation process. The letter confirmed the Reserve Bank’s decision to introduce a Funding for Lending Programme (FLP), but did not contain specifics of the FLP. The information should not have been communicated until after the 2pm release, but was sent 45 minutes early.
The limited information contained in the letter is unlikely to have provided anyone with a market

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Reserve Bank launches consultation to implement Capital Review changes

8 days ago

Release date
17 November 2020

The Reserve Bank is launching a consultation on the details for implementing the final Capital Review decisions announced last December.
In December 2019 the Reserve Bank made decisions to gradually raise bank capital requirements to make the banking system safer. These increases were meant to start in 2020, but have been delayed to allow banks continued headroom to respond to the economic shock of COVID-19. Increases in the required level of capital will commence from 1 July 2022. Other Capital Review decisions are due to be implemented from 1 July 2021 onwards.
“The Reserve Bank has adjusted implementation plans and is today publishing consultation material on the detailed rules to provide certainty and clarity to industry and

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More monetary stimulus provided

14 days ago

Tēnā koutou katoa, welcome all.
The Monetary Policy Committee agreed to provide additional monetary stimulus to the economy in order to meet its consumer price inflation and employment remit. The Committee agreed that the additional stimulus would be provided through a Funding for Lending Programme (FLP), commencing in December. The FLP will reduce banks’ funding costs and lower interest rates.
The Committee will also continue with the Large Scale Asset Purchase (LSAP) Programme up to $100 billion, and retain the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 0.25 percent in accordance with the guidance issued on 16 March.
Progress has been made on the Bank’s operational ability to deploy an FLP and a negative OCR. The Committee agreed that these instruments can be mutually supportive in bolstering economic

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Further regulatory steps to promote cashflow confidence and stability

14 days ago

Release date
11 November 2020

Reserve Bank delays start date for increases in bank capital
The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua is further delaying the start of increases in bank capital until 2022 to allow banks continued headroom to respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support the economic recovery.
This delay supports other actions the Reserve Bank has taken to cushion the initial economic blow of COVID-19 by promoting cash flow and confidence in the financial system.
“The Reserve Bank’s actions throughout this period have promoted monetary and financial stability and provided broad support to the Government, financial institutions and New Zealanders,” Reserve Bank Deputy Governor and General Manager Financial Stability Geoff Bascand says.

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Sustainable Finance: The earlier we act, the greater the opportunities

22 days ago

Release date
03 November 2020

Op-ed from Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr
2020 is a year none of us will forget. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, humanity has had to face mortality and work together to control a disease that relies on social interaction to spread.
This need for cohesion draws eerie parallels to our continued global struggles with controlling our impact on the environment. Early warnings; conflicting messages; politicisation of the science – the writing has also been on the wall but climate change is a slower moving beast. As The Economist put it, COVID-19 is climate change on fast-forward.1
As New Zealand’s Reserve Bank, we at Te Pūtea Matua are spending an increasing amount of time considering how external environmental challenges will

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RBNZ signs ISDA’s IBOR Fallbacks Protocol

26 days ago

Release date
30 October 2020

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua has signed the ‘IBOR Fallbacks Protocol’ published by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA).
As a market participant, this is an important step for the Bank to support an effective and efficient transition away from LIBOR and other key interbank offer rates (IBORs) by the end of 2021.
ISDA recently released new documentation that will help ease the transition from IBORs to alternative risk-free rates.
The purpose of ISDA’s Protocol and associated Supplement to the 2006 ISDA Definitions is to implement robust fall-back provisions for derivative contracts referencing IBORs – including LIBOR.
Christian Hawkesby Assistant Governor/GM Economics, Financial Markets and

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Progressing climate action by driving transformational change

28 days ago

Release date
28 October 2020

Addressing the risks of climate change requires broad transformational change, Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr says.
In a speech delivered today at the Pacific Ocean Pacific Climate Conference, Mr Orr reflected on the need for transformational change, as well as a collective and urgent response to climate risks.
“There’s a lot to do and we are late in leaving port. Climate change is a risk that requires a collective response. Grounding a response in our collective knowledge, data and expertise will strengthen and compound the effects of our actions.”
Like many other central banks and regulators, the Reserve Bank sees climate change as a key risk to the financial stability underpinning the economy.
“As New Zealand’s central

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Working together to support economic recovery, strengthen resilience, and develop culture

October 21, 2020

Release date
22 October 2020

Collaboration and understanding between regulators and the financial institutions they oversee is increasingly critical as our economy responds and recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Reserve Bank Assistant Governor and General Manager for Governance, Strategy, and Corporate Relations Simone Robbers said in a speech today.
Speaking at the 16th Financial Markets Law Conference in Auckland, Ms Robbers stressed the importance of working together, as she outlined the priorities and programmes that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Te Pūtea Matua is committed in delivering to promote the long-term prosperity and wellbeing of all New Zealanders.
“Since the onset of COVID-19, we have played our part, acting quickly and early in tandem

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Reserve Bank releases guidance to help build cyber resilience

October 19, 2020

Release date
20 October 2020

The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua is today releasing draft guidance on what regulated entities should consider when managing cyber resilience.
The cyber world has long been recognised as a significant source of operational risk for financial institutions, Deputy Governor and General Manager of Financial Stability Geoff Bascand says.
The draft guidance, which is open for feedback, outlines the Reserve Bank’s expectations around cyber resilience, and draws heavily from leading international and national cybersecurity standards and guidelines.
“As cyber risk continues to rise, there is growing awareness that cyber incidents could present risks to the stability of the entire financial system. Improving cyber resilience has become a key

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Reserve Bank seeks to preserve benefits of cash

October 19, 2020

Release date
19 October 2020

The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua is taking on a new role of steward of the cash system “to preserve the benefits of cash for all who need them”, Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby told the Royal Numismatics Society of New Zealand annual conference today (Wellington, Monday, 19 October 2020).
“Cash is being used less as a means of payment and access to cash is declining. However, cash provides important benefits to many people, including legal tender money, social and financial inclusion, peer-to-peer payments, backup payments, and privacy and autonomy,” said Mr Hawkesby.
“We encourage every banking sector participant to consider their role in supporting the needs of their customers, including those who depend on cash for their

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Maintaining monetary and financial stability and delivering on our commitments

October 1, 2020

Release date
01 October 2020

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua – is committed to maintaining the soundness of New Zealand’s financial system and supporting economic recovery through unanticipated and unprecedented challenges.
“We take our commitment as kaitiaki (guardian) of New Zealand’s financial system seriously. Our latest Annual Report details how we have delivered against our priorities and allows you to hold us to account,” Governor Adrian Orr said when releasing the Annual Report for 2019-2020.
“Although the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted some of our progress, we still achieved a lot,” Mr Orr says.
“The Reserve Bank helped cushion the initial economic blow by promoting cash flow and confidence in the financial system. We acted to maintain

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Reserve Bank relaunches Insurance Act review

September 30, 2020

Release date
01 October 2020

The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua is today relaunching the review of the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act (IPSA), and commencing a review of the associated Insurer Solvency Standards.
IPSA Review
The IPSA review was deferred due to work on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989 Review and the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. The attached IPSA launch paper sets out the scope of the review, and an anticipated timeline for the project.
The original IPSA legislation became law in September 2010 and there have been a number of notable developments since then, Deputy Governor and General Manager of Financial Stability Geoff Bascand says.
“Since 2010, the Reserve Bank and insurers have gained considerable experience across

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Prolonged Monetary Support Necessary

September 23, 2020

Tēnā koutou katoa, welcome all.
The Monetary Policy Committee agreed to continue with the Large Scale Asset Purchase (LSAP) Programme up to $100 billion. This action is necessary to further lower household and business borrowing rates in order to achieve the Committee’s inflation and employment remit. The Official Cash Rate (OCR) is being held at 0.25 percent in accordance with the guidance issued on 16 March.
Reflecting the possible need for further monetary stimulus, the Committee noted the progress being made on the Bank’s ability to deploy additional monetary instruments. The instruments include a Funding for Lending Programme (FLP), a negative OCR, and purchases of foreign assets. The Committee agreed that these instruments can be mutually supportive in bolstering economic activity.

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Te Ao Māori i Te Pūtea Matua

September 22, 2020

Ko Mahuru Māori te wā hai whakanui, hai whakatairanga i Te Reo Māori me ngā tikanga Māori. He wā hoki hai whakaputa rauemi hai whakamahinga mā Aotearoa whānui mō te katoa o te tau. E pēnei ana te aronga a Te Pūtea Matua, ki te ruruku, ki te whakatinana i tāna rautaki e kīia nei ko Te Ao Māori.
Hei tā Adrian Orr, Kāwana o Te Pūtea Matua “Mā te tū ki runga ki te ārahi, mā te whakapakari i a mātou anō, mā te whakawhānui i te tirohanga, mā te torotoro ki ngā āhuatanga o Te Ao Māori e tutuki ai tā mātou whainga ‘Te TīmaToa, Te Pēke Matua Pai’.”
Kei te whakamāoritia ngā tataunga matua i runga i te Papatohu a ngā Pēke. Koianei tētahi o ngā koha, me kī, ngā kaupapa e ū ai te Pēke ki Te Reo me ngā Tikanga.
E mea ana a Orr, “Mā te tuku i te Papatohu i roto i te reo, e taea ai e mātou te tūhonohono

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Stress test reinforces importance of bank capital

September 17, 2020

Release date
17 September 2020

The Reserve Bank’s – Te Pūtea Matua – latest stress test of New Zealand’s banks illustrates the benefit and necessity of shoring up bank capital in the good times to provide resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that large shocks can occur with very little warning.
“The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic provides a stark reminder to us all of the importance of being prepared for the unexpected, especially when you are a systemically important bank at the core of New Zealand’s financial system. The more capital a bank holds, the better it can weather economic storms and meet customer needs during tough times like now.” Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand says.
“Our stress test assess the impact of significant, hypothetical,

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Work on Insurance Act Review resumes

September 14, 2020

Release date
14 September 2020

The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua will be relaunching the review of the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act (IPSA) in October.
The review began with an industry consultation in 2017 and was set to resume in March this year, but was delayed in-line with the regulatory relief implemented to free up the Reserve Bank and industry participants to support our economy and tackle the challenges created by COVID-19.
“Maintaining a sound and efficient insurance sector is important for New Zealand,” Deputy Governor and General Manager of Financial Stability Geoff Bascand says.
“Customers expect to be able to insure their homes and possessions and obtain life and disability insurance, and businesses utilise a range of insurance products

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Confidence in a world of uncertainty

September 5, 2020

Release date
06 September 2020

During this unsettling time of COVID-19 public confidence in our financial system is critical. This is why the Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua – takes its mandate of promoting monetary and financial stability as sacrosanct. We rely heavily on our core values of integrity, innovation and inclusion to succeed. These values are our bedrock which ensured we were prepared for the challenges COVID threw at us, and will continue to allow us to respond quickly as the situation evolves.
Our Monetary Policy Committee agreed that a ‘least regrets’ policy response was to ease monetary conditions significantly. We determined that it is better to risk doing too much too soon, rather than too little too late.
We have cut the

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Same objectives, different challenges

September 2, 2020

Release date
02 September 2020

The Reserve Bank’s goals of monetary and financial stability, and team values and capabilities, put it in good stead to manage the evolving economic consequences of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is no precedent for an economic shock of this nature in peoples’ living memory. It is assuring that during such uncertain times people can have confidence in New Zealand’s monetary and financial system,” said Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr in a speech delivered to the Victoria University School of Government and Policy Studies.
“Our policy goals are highly relevant, and our strategies to achieve them will evolve with the circumstances.”
“Our key early actions included a significant easing in the Official Cash Rate (OCR), the

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Banks and NBDT's under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – August 2020

August 24, 2020

Release date
24 August 2020

The Ministry of Health have granted an exemption to enable registered banks and licensed non-bank deposit takers (NBDTs) to carry out critical financial services at Alert Level 3. https://gazette.govt.nz/notice/id/2020-go3923
The exemption is subject to the following conditions:
Interactions with customers should be via remote means wherever possible;
Face-to-face customer interaction continues to be permitted for financial services only;
Over-the-counter transactions to be completed at distances of over one metre and only if increased hygiene in these areas can be ensured;
For transactions in which require face-to-face engagement but cannot take place over the counter, increased hygiene must be ensured;
Registered

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RBNZ to lead Asia-Pacific Central Banks working group

August 20, 2020

Release date
21 August 2020

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has been appointed chair of an international central bank working group for the next two years.
In its virtual meeting on Wednesday, the Executives’ Meeting of East Asia-Pacific Central Banks (EMEAP) announced that the Reserve Bank has been appointed chair of the EMEAP Working Group on Payments and Market Infrastructures (WGPMI).
EMEAP is a cooperative organisation of central banks and monetary authorities from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand said the appointment is very much aligned with the Reserve Bank’s expanding regulatory and operational focus on financial

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Changes to Term Lending Facility

August 20, 2020

Release date
20 August 2020

In conjunction with the Government’s review of the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme, the Reserve Bank today outlined the revised operational details of the Term Lending Facility (TLF).
Under the revised facility, the Reserve Bank will continue to offer to lend funds to banks at the Official Cash Rate, however the term has been extended to five years from three years.
The new facility will be available to use from 26 August and now runs through to 1 February 2021. The table below shows the TLF schedule dates.
More details about the TLF can be found in the Domestic Markets markets release – Reserve Bank outlines details of revised Term Lending Facility
TLF Schedule (dates are inclusive)

Offering 10.00am-12.00pm and 1.00pm-3.00pm

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The Reserve Bank's balance sheet set to expand further in response to COVID-19

August 19, 2020

Release date
20 August 2020

The Reserve Bank’s balance sheet will continue to grow as it supports the economy and financial system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a speech to the ANZ-KangaNews New Zealand Capital Markets Forum, Assistant Governor Christian Hawkesby outlined how the Bank is using its balance sheet to achieve its monetary policy mandate of low and stable inflation and full employment, as well as supporting financial stability.
The Bank’s balance sheet has more than doubled since January to about $60 billion.
“In an environment of where the Official Cash Rate (OCR) is near its lower limits, the size and composition of our balance will inevitably become a more active tool for our monetary policy decisions,” Mr Hawkesby said.
The COVID-19

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Reserve Bank extending mortgage deferral scheme

August 17, 2020

Release date
17 August 2020

The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua – is announcing an extension of the regulatory guidance for the mortgage deferrals programme to help customers in need.
Since the original guidance was issued in March, many lenders have been supporting customers affected financially by COVID-19. The regulatory guidance means banks can continue to offer temporary mortgage deferrals to their customers, without those loans being viewed as being in default, Deputy Governor and General Manager of Financial Stability Geoff Bascand says.
The extension takes effect from when the existing guidance expires on 27 September and will apply until 31 March 2021, at which point the usual treatment will resume. Banks will still be able to offer deferrals to

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Further easing in monetary policy delivered

August 12, 2020

Tēnā koutou katoa, welcome all.
The Monetary Policy Committee agreed to expand the Large Scale Asset Purchase (LSAP) programme up to $100 billion so as to further lower retail interest rates in order to achieve its remit. The eligible assets remain the same and the Official Cash Rate (OCR) is being held at 0.25 percent in accordance with the guidance issued on 16 March.
Reflecting a possible need for further monetary stimulus, the Committee also agreed that a package of additional monetary instruments must remain in active preparation. The deployment of such tools will depend on the outlook for inflation and employment. The package of further instruments includes a negative OCR supported by funding retail banks directly at near-OCR (a Funding for Lending Programme). Purchases of foreign

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New Assistant Governor to join Reserve Bank of New Zealand

August 11, 2020

Release date
11 August 2020

The Reserve Bank today announced that Mrs Juliet Tainui-Hernandez has accepted the position of Assistant Governor and General Manager of Transformation and People.
Mrs Tainui-Hernandez will complete the Bank’s Senior Leadership Team and be based in the Auckland office.
Her role involves being responsible for leading the Bank’s Transformation and People Group, overseeing the development of the Auckland office and relationships, and contributing to the Senior Leadership Team’s whole of Bank decision making and operations.
Juliet is of Ngāi Tahu and Whakatohea descent. She has worked with local Iwi and with a large New Zealand law firm before commencing her international career. Juliet has since worked in Australia, Hong Kong, and

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Transparency and disclosure critical to COVID-19 response

August 3, 2020

Release date
03 August 2020

Transparency and clear disclosure of actions and policies have been key to the COVID-19 response, Reserve Bank Head of Financial System Policy and Analysis Toby Fiennes said delivering a speech in Wellington today.
Market discipline is one of the three pillars in the Reserve Bank’s regulatory framework. It relies on transparency through good disclosure and reporting from regulated institutions and clear communication from us as the steward of the financial system, Mr Fiennes said.
“Whether you’re making a financial or business decision, clear, concise and up-to-date information is crucial to making informed decisions. As well as helping banks to keep focussed on their customers during the initial response to COVID-19, we’ve been

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Banking post-COVID-19 requires a long-term view

July 30, 2020

Release date
31 July 2020

How the banking sector chooses to respond to the significant impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will have a major influence on how the financial system evolves over the next decade.
The pandemic has posed significant challenges to both our economy and the financial system as a whole. We expect it will take some time before we see a full recovery, Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua Deputy Governor and General Manager of Financial Stability Geoff Bascand said in a speech delivered today.
“New Zealand’s financial sector has proved resilient to the dual health and economic shocks and indeed, supported the business and household sectors through strong business continuity arrangements, the accommodation of many customers through the

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Reserve Bank paper finds unemployment in one region can affect another

July 29, 2020

Release date
29 July 2020

Studying changes in job levels in the Auckland and Waikato regions could provide a more accurate indicator of where the country’s labour market is heading, according to a new Reserve Bank paper.
The Analytical Note Regional Labour Market Spillovers examined regional labour markets and how unemployment in one region could spill over and influence joblessness in other regions.
“By doing this we can identify which regions have the greatest or smallest impact on other regions and identify which ones give us an early heads up about where national unemployment is heading,” Reserve Bank analyst and the paper’s author Cameron Haworth said.
The report found rising unemployment in Auckland and Waikato had the most influence on unemployment

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Introduction of Bill marks exciting new phase for Te Pūtea Matua

July 28, 2020

Release date
28 July 2020

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua – has welcomed the introduction of a Bill that sets out the organisation’s future institutional and governance arrangements. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bill was introduced to Parliament today by Minister of Finance Grant Robertson.
This is the first of two bills resulting from the Phase 2 review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989. As part of the broad-ranging review, the Government has decided that the current Act will be replaced with two new pieces of legislation – the ‘Reserve Bank Act’ and a ‘Deposit Takers Act’.
The Bill focuses on reforming the overall institutional, governance, accountability, and funding arrangements of the Bank. It implements decisions taken by

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