Media Release Number: 2020-07 10 December 2020

Statement by the Trans-Tasman Council on Banking Supervision – December 2020

The Trans-Tasman Council on Banking Supervision (the Council) held its regular end-of-year meeting on Thursday 3 December 2020. The Council's agenda for the meeting included a discussion of Australia and New Zealand's fiscal outlooks and strategies, information sharing arrangements in relation to ASX and NZX, and the forward work plan of the Council.

All Council members provided updates on recent policy announcements, regulatory interventions and significant work to be undertaken in the coming months. The New Zealand Treasury and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand provided an update on the Review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act, on which the most recent round of public consultation closed on 23 October 2020.

The Council discussed fiscal strategies and outlooks in New Zealand and Australia. The discussion highlighted the importance of both countries starting with a strong fiscal position and using this position to flexibly support their economies. The Council also considered the need to re-examine fiscal strategies in light of the changed fiscal and economic circumstances and maintaining the capacity to respond to future shocks.

The Council reviewed information arrangements relating to the ASX and the NZX. The Council agencies aim to ensure information about incidents affecting financial market infrastructures (FMIs), including outages, can be shared across jurisdictions between agencies, regulators, and, where appropriate, FMIs.

It was agreed that the future work of the Council will include:

  • finalising work on outstanding technical issues relevant to crisis preparedness and resilience;
  • implementing recommendations to enhance crisis communication arrangements from a trans-Tasman crisis simulation;
  • additional information sharing and monitoring including around the pandemic response and recovery; and
  • strategies to promote cyber resilience.

The Council met at an increased frequency in 2020, with six meetings in total, primarily to share information around issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and related response and recovery measures. Discussion covered the policy and regulatory challenges from the COVID-19 shock and were forward looking to the economic recovery. Topics included the resilience of debt and equity markets, the pandemic's impact on households, and firm support measures adopted by jurisdictions. The attendees agreed that the more frequent meetings enabled trans-Tasman cooperation and sharing of economic and financial sector developments in relation to the pandemic and greatly benefited agencies in both countries.

The Council heads agreed to meet in June and December in 2021, with additional meetings if required by circumstances, while Council deputies will meet separately in March and September.

The Australian Treasury chaired the Council in 2020 and will be handing over to the New Zealand Treasury to assume the chair of the Council for 2021.

Meeting attendees

New Zealand Treasury
Caralee McLiesh, Bryan Chapple

Australian Treasury
Steven Kennedy (Chair), James Kelly, Nghi Luu

Reserve Bank of New Zealand
Adrian Orr, Geoff Bascand, Toby Fiennes

Reserve Bank of Australia
Philip Lowe, Michele Bullock, Jonathan Kearns

Financial Markets Authority
Rob Everett, Liam Mason

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority
Wayne Byres, John Lonsdale

Australian Securities and Investments Commission
Karen Chester, Sean Hughes


About the Trans-Tasman Council on Banking Supervision

The Trans-Tasman Council on Banking Supervision (TTBC) is a working group that aims to promote the coordination of trans-Tasman bank regulation and supervision. It is jointly chaired by the Secretaries of the Australian and New Zealand Treasuries. The TTBC's membership also includes senior officials from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), and the New Zealand Financial Markets Authority (FMA).

The TTBC's terms of reference are available here.