15 Oct 2008

Underwriting expected to total at least $80b

7:10 am on 15 October 2008

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand says it expects to underwrite deposits of between $80 - $100 billion from the main banks.

An estimated total of $150 billion is to be covered by the Government scheme which guarantees deposits lodged with banks, building societies, credit unions and some finance firms.

The Reserve Bank says the scheme could promote some drift to riskier investments, but it is more important people have confidence that their deposits are safe.

Once banks' applications are accepted, the guarantee will be effective from last Sunday and will last for two years.