Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney says bank reform should be viewed as a way to improve economic growth, not detract from it.

Critics of banking reform have argued it will depress lending, risk taking and economic activity.

But Canada's top central banker is making the case for proceeding full speed ahead on reforms that he's overseeing as head of the Financial Stability Board.

In a speech prepared for the Canadian Club of Montreal, Carney says credit growth has resumed in countries where financial institutions have strengthened their balance sheets.

Carney says he believes the global system is now safer than it was prior to the collapse of 2007 and 2008 but there needs to an end to a pervasive belief that governments will always bail out banks that are too big to fail.

As for Canada, Carney says the domestic banks are in position to meet all the new standards being phased in over the next six years starting in 2013.