New Zealand’s central bank is getting more capital from the government to allow it to meet balance sheet risks and enable it to deploy tools to ensure financial stability.
(Bloomberg) — New Zealand’s central bank is getting more capital from the government to allow it to meet balance sheet risks and enable it to deploy tools to ensure financial stability.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson took a proposal to boost the Reserve Bank’s capital by NZ$1.3 billion ($760 million) to his cabinet colleagues last month, according to documents released by the Treasury Department on Thursday in Wellington. He also intended to provide the RBNZ with an indemnity to cover losses of as much as NZ$5 billion.
The action follows restructuring of the governance of the RBNZ that requires it to prudently manage its liabilities. Earlier this year, the government agreed to a NZ$500 million capital increase and an indemnity to allow it to build foreign reserves and to be able to intervene in currency markets.
Robertson said the pursuit of financial stability may require the RBNZ to carry more risk on its balance sheet, and the central bank needs more capital to offset that risk.
“These arrangements will ensure the bank has sufficient financial resources to intervene for financial stability purposes and to undertake conventional monetary policy, including some support to establish a negative interest rate if required,” he said in the cabinet paper. “The financial backing also provides support for some risks already on the Reserve Bank balance sheet.”
He said the RBNZ’s quantitative easing, or Large Scale Asset Purchase program, has incurred past and expected future losses of NZ$10.5 billion which is covered by an existing indemnity. That indemnity will be terminated, although the government liability remains.
The capital contribution is based on RBNZ estimates. It includes unspecified sums to support the future use of negative interest rates as a monetary policy tool, to support business-as-usual liquidity management and implementation of the Official Cash Rate framework, as well as tactical interventions, and to cover other Covid-19 related interventions already on the RBNZ balance sheet.
The indemnity will pre-position the RBNZ to undertake interventions to support and promote market functioning and financial stability, such as when the government bond market becomes dysfunctional and warrants intervention, Robertson said.
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.