18 December 2018
In a step toward achieving the best “regulator-regulated” relationships possible, the Reserve Bank (Te Putea Matua) has
established a Relationship Charter for working effectively with banks. The Charter will also be discussed with insurers
and non-bank deposit takers in the near future.
Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr said the Relationship Charter
commits the Bank and the financial sector to a mutual understanding of appropriate conduct and culture. “This is
underpinned by the principle ‘te hunga tiaki’, the combined stewardship of an efficient system for the benefit of all,”
Mr Orr said.
“Writing it was the easy part. Operating consistently with the conduct principles is the challenge. We will regularly
mutually review behaviours with the industry. Appropriate conduct is critical to the trust and wellbeing of New
Zealand’s financial system, and the Reserve Bank – the Tāne Māhuta
of the financial garden,” Mr Orr said.
Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand said the Reserve Bank’s recent announcement of a consultation with banks about the
appropriate level of bank capital highlights the usefulness of the Relationship Charter.
“There is a natural conflict of interest. Banks will want to hold lower levels of capital to maximise returns for their
shareholders. However, customers and society wear the full economic and social cost of a bank failure. We represent
society’s interests and will naturally insist on higher capital holdings than any one individual shareholder,” Mr
“Following our Relationship Charter, we long signalled the purpose of our work and shared our analysis and consultation
timetable. We have also committed significant time to engage with banks and provide a sensible transition period to make
any changes we decide on. The Charter means what we are looking to achieve can be discussed professionally, while we
continue to build appropriate working relationships. Outcomes will be superior and better understood and owned by
society,” Mr Bascand said.