How secure is my money with WBS?

Security and stability are a major consideration at WBS.

Who is WBS?

  • WBS is a mutual building society, owned by its members (investors) and a charitable Trust (the WBS Charitable Trust). We are not a finance company.
  • WBS has offered tailored lending and investment to the people of Wairarapa and beyond for 150 years.
  • WBS’s profits stay local rather than going offshore. We give back to our community in the form of grants and sponsorship.

How does WBS look after depositor funds?

  • We have a strict liquidity policy for investing our depositor funds across banks with strong and stable credit ratings.
  • For lending, we work in partnership with our borrowers and follow a stringent lending process to ensure loans are secured and payments are met.

How is WBS monitored and regulated?

  • WBS is a non-bank deposit taker licenced by RBNZ, whose role is to maintain financial stability. We are also monitored by a Supervisor who reports to the RBNZ on a monthly basis.
  • We are guided by an experienced Leadership Team and governed by an experienced Board with monthly Board meetings.
  • WBS has a stable BB+ rating from the credit rating agency, Fitch. We’ve maintained this rating for more than 15 years (including through the Global Financial Crisis of 2008).
  • Based on our lending and investment book size, BB+ is the highest rating WBS is likely to achieve.
  • Like all other licenced financial institutions, we operate under strict regulations listed within the Acts of parliament listed below.
    • Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 2021
    • Non-bank Deposit Takers Act 2013
    • Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013
    • Building Societies Act 1965 and Regulations 1989
    • Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009
    • Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003

Looking ahead to Government guarantee

  • Currently no cash deposits in New Zealand held by banks or other deposit takers are guaranteed by the Government. Changes have been proposed to the Deposit Takers Act and Code of Conduct for licenced financial Institutions, along with a depositor compensation scheme. These changes will provide further assurance and confidence to our customers in the coming years.