Touring New Zealand, New Yorker financial columnist James Surowiecki finds similarities between its stable banking system - and comparative economic good health - and that of Canada:
"What's curious about the relative health of the New Zealand banking system is that it's dominated by four big Australian banks, which also dominate the Australian banking system. This seems to complicate the oft-floated argument that having a financial system dominated by big banks necessarily leads to regulatory capture or excessive risk-taking...
"It's striking that both Canada and Australia have weathered this crisis very well, despite (or is it because of?) the fact that their banking systems are dominated by a few large institutions. At the very least, that suggests that the assertion that it's impossible for governments to effectively regulate big banks needs to be rethought - even if figuring out how to make that kind of regulation work in an American context is a difficult task."
Royal Bank of Canada and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, the largest lenders in Canada and Australasia, respectively.