1 Jul 2013

Banking security system inches closer

11:40 am on 1 July 2013

Banks have been putting in place IT systems that would allow new rules to deal with a banking collapse to be activated.

The banks had until midnight on 30 June to have the systems in place to implement the Open Bank Resolution (OBR).

The Reserve Bank policy requires shareholders in a failing bank to pay its debts first, but some funds belonging to depositors and unsecured creditors would be frozen to pay for remaining losses.

Critics say this would be similar to what happened in Cyprus, with money being able to be taken from depositors' funds.

Supporters say it beats a Government bailout, which can be unaffordable, or liquidation, which can tie up depositors' funds for years.

They say it would free up depositors' access to unfrozen funds within a day of a bank going under.

The Reserve Banks stresses OBR would not be used automatically, but would be available if the Government needs it.