Banking in New Zealand - Banking in the World

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Banking in New Zealand

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Banking in New Zealand - Register of registered banks in New Zealand

All banks operating in New Zealand must be registered with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. There are currently 24 registered banks.

Under section 69 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act, the Reserve Bank must keep a public register of registered banks and this is provided below.

A separate page provides information on banks’ credit ratings.

Click on the name of the bank to go to their website (some websites may not be in English).

Banks marked (B) operate in New Zealand as branches of overseas-incorporated banks. All other banks are incorporated in New Zealand.

Credit ratings of banks in New Zealand

Under section 80 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989, the Reserve Bank requires registered banks to obtain and maintain a current credit rating applicable to their long-term senior unsecured obligations payable in New Zealand, in New Zealand dollars. Registered banks must publish their credit rating in quarterly disclosure statements.

A credit rating is an independent opinion on the capability and willingness of a financial institution to repay its debts. It provides a simple summary measure of relative risk that is relatively easy to understand. The availability of a rating allows depositors, and other creditors, to assess the relative riskiness of individual banks and to make informed investment decisions. A credit rating requirement is also likely to enhance incentives for banks to operate their business prudently in order to avoid a rating downgrade.

See Explaining Credit Ratings (PDF 71KB) for an explanation of how credit ratings work, and what they can and cannot do.

Registered banks' credit ratings

New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

New Zealand has a modern, prosperous and developed market economy with an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita of roughly US$28,250. The currency is the New Zealand dollar, informally known as the "Kiwi dollar"; it also circulates in the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, and the Pitcairn Islands

Historically, extractive industries have contributed strongly to New Zealand's economy, focussing at different times on sealing, whaling, flax, gold, kauri gum, and native timber. With the development of refrigerated shipping in the 1880s meat and dairy products were exported to Britain, a trade which provided the basis for strong economic growth in New Zealand. High demand for agricultural products from the United Kingdom and the United States helped New Zealanders achieve higher living standards than both Australia and Western Europe in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1973 New Zealand's export market was reduced when the United Kingdom joined the European Community and other compounding factors, such as the 1973 oil and 1979 energy crisis, led to a severe economic depression. Living standards in New Zealand fell behind those of Australia and Western Europe, and by 1982 New Zealand had the lowest per-capita income of all the developed nations surveyed by the World Bank. Since 1984, successive governments engaged in major macroeconomic restructuring (known first as Rogernomics and then Ruthanasia), rapidly transforming New Zealand from a highly protectionist economy to a liberalised free-trade economy.

Unemployment peaked above 10 percent in 1991 and 1992, following the 1987 share market crash, but eventually fell to a record low of 3.4 percent in 2007 (ranking fifth from twenty-seven comparable OECD nations).[196] However, the global financial crisis that followed had a major impact on New Zealand, with the GDP shrinking for five consecutive quarters, the longest recession in over thirty years, and unemployment rising back to 7 percent in late 2009. At May 2012, the general unemployment rate was around 6.7 percent, while the unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 21 was 13.6 percent. New Zealand has experienced a series of "brain drains" since the 1970s that still continue today. Nearly one quarter of highly skilled workers live overseas, mostly in Australia and Britain, which is the largest proportion from any developed nation. In recent years, however, a "brain gain" has brought in educated professionals from Europe and lesser developed countries

English is the predominant language in New Zealand, spoken by 98 percent of the population. New Zealand English is similar to Australian English and many speakers from the Northern Hemisphere are unable to tell the accents apart.

 
 
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