New 'buffer' capital ratio comfortably met by most banks with Kiwibank having the least headroom

By Gareth Vaughan

The country's banks have largely taken a new capital requirement, introduced by the Reserve Bank from January 1, in their stride. 

From January 1 New Zealand banks have been required to maintain a buffer ratio for common equity tier one capital of at least 2.5%. Based on figures from the banks latest general disclosure statements, as of December 31, state owned Kiwibank had the least clearance above the new buffer ratio, being one percentage point higher at 3.5%. The only other banks under 4% were Westpac at 3.9%, and BNZ at 3.95%.

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