The comments follow criticism of the scale of Government rules by the departing chief executive of SBS Bank, Shaun Drylie.
He said banking staff had to spend a lot of time dealing with Government compliance when they could be improving their business with innovative products and services.
Drylie said many reforms to the finance sector had been positive, but many regulations had put huge internal pressure on banks and were displacing other productive work.
In response, the Bankers Association issued a restrained statement, basically agreeing with Drylie.
It said the Government often directed banks to do something by a set date, but did not tell them how it should done until late in the piece, which put huge presssure on everyone.
Association chief executive Roger Beaumont defended regulation in principle.
He said quality regulation was in the best interests of consumers and banks, and banks took their compliance obligations very seriously.
But it was not all good news.
“As an industry we sometimes find implementing deadlines can be challenging,” Beaumont said.
“For example, the law sets a compliance date but the more detailed regulations or guidance are not available until close to the deadline.
“ That means we don’t have much time to make the required systems and process changes.”
And that was even before the pandemic.
“Covid-19 has had a further impact on that kind of pressure, with people working from home and difficulties getting systems changed and preparing staff for the new requirements.”
The Bankers Association represents 18 banks, including the big four, as well as niche banks like SBS and several foreign banks licensed in New Zealand.