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RBNZ pushes for new quarterly disclosure regime

Friday 23rd September 2016

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The Reserve Bank is pushing for a new disclosure regime for the way banks make financial information public outside their half-year and annual updates, which would see the central bank draw on data it's already privy to. 

The RBNZ is seeking feedback on whether to introduce a dashboard hosting all locally incorporated banks' key metrics, which it says would be a cost efficient way in maintaining market discipline. The dashboard, which is the central bank's preferred option, would present information on private lenders' credit ratings, capital levels, asset quality, financial performance, and liquidity, and the RBNZ is considering whether to add information on large exposures and loan-to-value ratios. 

"We consider that the dashboard is likely to materially enhance market discipline by improving the accessibility and comparability of information available to depositors and market participants," the document said. "We believe the dashboard will broadly meet and, in many respects exceed, international standards for quarterly capital and asset quality disclosure by banks."

The proposal came up from earlier consultation on whether to ditch banks' quarterly disclosure statements altogether, which banks complained were of little value to those who read them and an unnecessary cost. The Reserve Bank didn't agree and decided to retain them to maintain adequate market discipline, with the $100,000 cost not deemed to be overly burdensome. 

The Reserve Bank is redeveloping its balance sheet for private statistical reporting, which means the introduction of a dashboard couldn't be implemented until the first half of next year when the project is completed. 

The central bank's "fall-back option" would be to replace the quarterly disclosure statements with updates containing key information that investors and analysts have indicated is "the most essential to be updated more than six-monthly."

Submissions need to be in by the close of business on Dec. 1, and a final policy decision is expected to be made in the first quarter of next year.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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