RBNZ investigating use of negative rates, official says

New Zealand central bank would only use measure if necessary, assistant governor says


New Zealand’s central bank is actively considering negative interest rates to combat the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, a senior official said.

Speaking on August 20, assistant governor Christian Hawkesby said the Reserve Bank of New Zealand has been “preparing the groundwork” to use additional tools if necessary. These include negative interest rates and a funding for lending programme.  

“Staff were instructed to actively prepare advice on their design and deployment [of these

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