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Strong Credit Rating For NZ Post's New Bank

19 September 2001

Strong Credit Rating For New Zealand Post's New Bank

New Zealand Post's proposed new bank is expected to be given an AA- credit rating by international rating agency Standard & Poor's. The rating will take effect at the time the bank receives its banking licence from the Reserve Bank, expected later this year.

Interim CEO for the new bank, Sam Knowles, said the rating put the bank on a par with ANZ, ASB Bank, The National Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation (all AA-).

"In determining the rating for the new bank, Standard & Poor's considered detailed information, including our business implementation plans, financial projections and capital requirements, and met with the bank's management team and senior New Zealand Post executives.

"The long-term rating confirms that customers of the new bank can have confidence that it will be a strong and credible presence in the New Zealand banking sector."

New Zealand Post Chief Executive Elmar Toime said the rating was consistent with New Zealand Post's own rating of AA-, assessed in February, which factors in the establishment of the new bank.

"Today's rating announcement also reflects the strong long-term outlook for New Zealand Post and is a further endorsement of the banking strategy and its ability to add significant value to the business and its shareholders."

Mr Toime confirmed that New Zealand Post would provide the guarantee for the new bank.

The New Zealand Post guarantee will cover all future obligations of the bank, including depositors, with a standard three-month notice of termination, and grandfathering of existing debts as at the exit date.

Note: Standard & Poor's refers to 'New Zealand Post Financial Services Ltd', the interim designation for the new bank until a final trading name is determined later this year.

ENDS




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