NAB Chairman supports tougher capital rules for major banks

by Julia Corderoy19 Dec 2014
NAB Chairman Michael Chaney has welcomed the Murray Inquiry’s recommendation that big banks be required to hold more capital to insure against economic shocks. 

Speaking at the lender’s Annual General Meeting, Chaney said “The inquiry has been a necessary and important process and we fully support the initiatives that create a more efficient and stronger financial system.”

This is a surprising response as major banks were warning regulators not to get too tenacious about implementing tougher capital rules ahead of release of the final FSI report.

Speaking at Commonwealth Bank’s Annual General Meeting last month, chief executive Ian Narev warned regulators not to get too “prescriptive” about enforcing stricter capital rules.

ANZ chief Mike Smith also argued that higher capital costs will come at a detriment to consumers and businesses who will have to pay more for home and business lending. While Westpac chief Gail Kelly has warned that the rules could damage economic growth in the form of weaker dividend growth.

No decisions have been made by the Government or regulators yet, with submissions to the final report open until the end of March. Chaney assured that NAB will continue to be an active participant in the Inquiry’s process.

“We believe our balance sheet strength positions us well to meet regulatory changes and we look forward to continuing to work with Government and regulators to ensure Australia continues to enjoy the benefits of a world class financial system while avoiding impediments to economic growth,” he said.