Changes to ASB’s interest rate outlook for New Zealand: Negative OCR and Funding for Lending tag team in action from 2021

  • We have formally changed our OCR forecast view and now expect the RBNZ to cut the OCR to -0.50% in early 2021, with the OCR to remain at this level before the COVID-19 storm passes (potentially as long as late 2022). The interest rate outlook is highly uncertain and OCR settings will be conditional on a number of factors.
  • The negative OCR will be launched in conjunction with a Funding for Lending Programme (FLP) that will provide stable, low-cost funding to banks that can be lent out, mitigating some of the adverse impacts of a negative policy interest rate.  We expect further details of this scheme to emerge in the coming months.
  • In the interim, we expect the RBNZ to continue to use forward guidance and its expanded $100bn Large Scale Asset Purchase programme to push yields lower.


Contact us

Nick Tuffley

ASB Chief Economist

Since starting out in 1997 as an economist, it's fair to say Nick has seen a few hair-raising moments over the years, including the Asian Financial Crisis and the Global Financial Crisis.

One of Nick's strengths is his ability to communicate complex ideas in a readily understandable and entertaining way.  He thrives on helping people understand the economic environment to help enrich the quality of their business or personal life. He’s proud to lead a team that has won two Forecast Accuracy Awards from Consensus Economics, and has a strong track record with their Official Cash Rate and dairy price forecasts. 

Nick grew up in Christchurch and graduated with a Master of Commerce degree from the University of Canterbury.  He learned his economic ropes at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand before a long stint as a Senior Economist at Westpac, and joined ASB as Chief Economist in 2007.

Mark Smith

Senior Economist

Mark joined ASB in 2017, with over 20 years of public and private sector experience working as an economist in New Zealand and the UK.

His resume includes lengthy stints at ANZ and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and he has also worked at the Bank of England, HM Treasury and the New Zealand Transport Agency. Mark's areas of specialisation include interest rate strategy, macro-economic analysis and urban economics.

Born and bred in the Waikato, Mark studied at Waikato University where he graduated with a Master of Social Sciences, majoring in Economics.

Mark's key strengths are the ability to use his extensive experience, inquisitive nature, analytical ability, creativity and pragmatism to dig a little deeper and to deliver common sense solutions to tackle complex problems.

When not at work Mark likes to travel, keep fit and spend time with his friends and family.