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National's Plans To Sell Kiwibank Bad News For Customers And Banking Industry

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

4 August 2008 - Bank workers' union Finsec says the National Party's plan to sell KiwiBank is bad news for customers and the country's banking sector.

KiwiBank is setting a good example by keeping jobs local, focusing on customers' needs and service not sales targets and goes some way to offset the negative balance of payments problem created by the big Australian banks sending their profits offshore.

"Selling KiwiBank would yet again hand our banking sector over to total offshore ownership. That's bad news for customers if there is no bank acting in the public interest. It appears National would rather Aussie shareholders made a buck out of our finance industry than keep KiwiBank New Zealand owned," said Finsec Campaigns Director Andrew Campbell.

"Community concern has grown about the way Australian banks behave in New Zealand. ANZ National is moving hundreds of good local jobs offshore to India in the face of widespread public opposition and more bank profit is being returned to offshore shareholders. This has a negative impact on our balance of payments - a situation made worse if KiwiBank was sold to foreign investors," said Campbell. "KiwiBank performs well in customer service surveys and operates in locations that the major banks deserted in the 90's during a period of massive branch closures," said Campbell. "BNZ's recent decision to close its Hokitika branch highlights the need for a bank in the market that puts people and local communities before profit."

"New Zealand bank customers need genuine competition. The last thing we need is to see KiwiBank flogged off to one of the big Australian banks and shrink our sector even further," said Campbell.

"Bill English's knee jerk instinct to sell or privatise our best state assets is not what customers or our banking sector need."

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