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RBNZ consents to ANZ National Bank purchase


RBNZ consents to ANZ National Bank purchase

The Reserve Bank today announced that it has consented to the ANZ Banking Group (New Zealand) Limited purchase of the National Bank of New Zealand Limited. The Reserve Bank Amendment Act 2003 requires the Reserve Bank's consent to a purchase of more than 10 per cent of a bank registered in New Zealand.

Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard commented "This consent is subject to specific conditions which are laid out in Attachment 1 to this press statement.

"These requirements are aimed at reinforcing the Reserve Bank's bank local incorporation policy. We are aiming to ensure that the boards of locally-incorporated registered banks have unambiguous legal authority and the practical ability to control all the functions, systems and management capacity necessary to operate on a standalone basis.

"We are also imposing an additional condition of registration on ANZ Banking Group (New Zealand) Limited, as set out in Attachment 2. This requires each registered bank in the ANZ group, as well as the consolidated banking group, to have a level of capital adequacy that is prudent.

"These steps are necessary given the Reserve Bank's statutory obligation to promote the maintenance of a sound and efficient financial system in New Zealand and to avoid the significant damage to the financial system that could result from the failure of a registered bank.

"Nothing in this formal consent over-rides the fact that, as conveyed in our 29 August 2003 letter (http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/banking/regulation/0139108.html) to the banking industry, the Reserve Bank is currently exploring the merits of a range of enhanced risk management requirements for banks, as part of our broader financial stability programme," Dr Bollard concluded.

Note that details as to what the Reserve Bank is required to consider in regard to a proposed bank purchase are outlined in Document BS9 at http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/banking/regulation/0094291.html.

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