Using the information below, learn all you need to know about New Zealand bank accounts and the banking sector. We cover the laws and regulations that govern the banking system, and list the local and international banks that operate in New Zealand.
New Zealand has a developed, well-functioning banking system that provides generous amounts of business and consumer credit. Domestic credit provided by the banking sector reached 117.5% of GDP in 2000 (latest available data), according to the World Bank. This is a lower level than in the most intensely banked economies in the world, but it indicates that bank loans are more readily available in New Zealand than in such sophisticated economies as Canada and Australia.
The New Zealand banking system consists of 15 registered banks with more than 90 percent of their combined assets under the ownership of foreign banks (Australian banks account for 87 percent of the total). Kiwibank, introduced in 2001 by the Labour-Alliance government and operated out of the NZ Post Shops, is the only sizable New Zealand-based institution. Aggregate banking system capital adequacy has been above minimum requirements since the introduction of Basel-based reporting in 1989. Access to the credit system is unrestricted.
Any institution- whether domestic or foreign owned or domiciled- that wishes to call itself a bank must be registered by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ- the central bank), though financial institutions may describe themselves as “investment banks” without being registered. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Amendment Bill 2002- which deals almost exclusively with banking nomenclature – initially proposed forbidding the use of the words “bank”, “banker” and “banking” in trademarked advertising literature by non-registered financial institutions, but the proposal was withdrawn following protests by credit unions. Registration facilitates international business and permits access to low-cost financing through the interbank money market. Any other institution underwriting or arranging debt securities comes under the jurisdiction of the Securities Commission. This includes insurance companies.
Registered Banks in New Zealand:
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