Overview of the DT Bill

This follows the release of an Exposure Draft of the DT Bill by the Reserve Bank in December 2021, and the subsequent public consultation process. The introduction of the DT Bill into Parliament represents the beginning of the final phase of the once-in-a-generation reform to replace the laws that apply to banks and finance companies in New Zealand. Once enacted and in full force, the DT bill will replace the Banking (Prudential Supervision) Act 1989 and the Non-bank Deposit Takers Act 2013 – combining the existing separate prudential regulatory regimes for registered banks and non-bank deposit takers into a single regime for “deposit takers”.

Amongst other things, the key changes to be effected by the DT Bill include:

  • Establishing a single set of rules that will apply to all “deposit takers”.
  • Establishing a depositor compensation scheme (DCS) that will protect up to NZ$100,000 per depositor per deposit taker, to be fully funded by levies and with a Crown backstop.
  • Strengthening supervision and enforcement powers, including providing the Reserve Bank with stronger crisis management powers that will apply in the event a deposit taker is in distress.

For more background on the changes to be implemented under the DT Bill, and a summary of who will be affected, see our previous update here. Some changes have been made to the DT Bill from the Exposure Draft released by the Reserve Bank in December 2021, reflecting the result of submissions received on the Exposure Draft. However, for the most part, the key aspects of the DT Bill remain unchanged.

Timing

The Reserve Bank expects the DT Bill to come into force after receiving Royal Assent in mid-to-late 2023.

After the new Act comes into force, there will be a transition period to allow both the Reserve Bank and regulated entities time to adapt to the new regime.

Timing for implementation will be on a staged basis. The Reserve Bank expects the DCS to be prioritised, and to be up and running in early 2024. The timing for implementing the balance of the new Act — in particular, the implementation of both new prudential standards and the licensing process for deposit takers — is expected to take some years. The implementation of the new Act will require the enacting of secondary legislation and standards. The content of such further secondary legislation and standards will be important in determining the scope of the new Act and its requirements.