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Name Of New Bank Announced

5 November 2001


The newly appointed chairman of the New Zealand Post banking subsidiary, Rt Hon Jim Bolger, today announced the new bank will be called Kiwibank.

Speaking at a function in Wellington where a prototype of the new bank was shown to the media, Mr Bolger said the choice of name was driven strongly by responses from the public.

"The bank project team and New Zealand Post directors looked at a wide range of options to find a name which clearly represented the values of the new bank. The public was very clear in its views.

"One name stood out: Kiwibank. It is a name with instant recognition and which says 'this is a New Zealand bank'. It says it is a bank for all New Zealanders. That single word, Kiwibank, captures the friendly can-do attitude of New Zealanders, which is exactly what we want the bank to achieve.

"The name Kiwibank reinforces that in a New Zealand market totally dominated by overseas banks, there will soon be another bank which is proudly Kiwi named and Kiwi owned. New Zealanders will be able to carry out their banking in Kiwibank confident in the knowledge that the profits will remain in New Zealand," Mr Bolger said. Mr Bolger took the media through a model of the new bank which had been set up in a warehouse in a Wellington suburb. The model was furnished in the light green colour which has been chosen for the bank and included bank counters, an interview room and banking facilities, all as they will be when the bank opens next year.

Mr Bolger said the 'look' of the new bank was designed to meet the needs of customers identified through extensive public research and consultation.

"The message we received was very clear. The public wants banking to be straight forward and convenient with a community feel.

"That is our objective with the layout and presentation of Kiwibank. Customers will find it easy to find out where to go and what to do. Kiwibank will also have lower fees than the other banks, personal service and more outlets than any other bank in New Zealand," Mr Bolger said.

The systems and processes for Kiwibank will be put through a full trial starting in Wellington next month.

Mr Bolger said a number of New Zealand Post staff would take part in the trial, known as a 'Proof of Concept'. The staff will have Kiwibank chequebooks and bankcards as well as cheque and savings accounts. This will allow the bank project to put the processes through a real trial before the bank is launched next year.

Mr Bolger said the Proof of Concept trial was also essential to achieving a full banking licence from the Reserve Bank.

Kiwibank plans to open next year with a nation-wide roll-out throughout the country from March. There will be more than 300 Post Shops and Books and More outlets with banking services. Refurbishment of the outlets will be carried out from late January.


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