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Kiwibank Announces Products And Services

7 February 2002

Media Release

Kiwibank today announced its range of products and services which includes substantially lower fees than other banks, home loan rates of 6.10 per cent and high interest rates on savings accounts.

At a media conference in Wellington, Kiwibank Chairman, Rt Hon Jim Bolger ONZ, also confirmed three Kiwibank branches would open in Palmerston North on 12 February 2002 and four in Hawkes Bay on 13 February.

Kiwibank has released a comparative table that shows a family could reduce their transaction fees by an average of 50 per cent by switching their accounts to Kiwibank. Customers who switch their existing home loans or take out new loans will be offered 6.10 per cent variable rates and the same fixed rate for one year. Home loans with Kiwibank have no application fee.

Other features of the Kiwibank product launch include children's savings accounts which pay a high 4.50 per cent interest no matter how much is in the account; a "Bill Blaster" account where customers pay a set amount into the account each month and their bills are paid automatically on time and a Cash Manager facility which provides for multiple accounts with interest paid on the combined total.

Speaking at the launch, Kiwibank Chief Executive Sam Knowles said the bank was delivering on the promises made when the concept of a New Zealand-owned bank was first announced by New Zealand Post.

"We promised a simple fee structure which delivered lower costs and very competitive banking services. We have received massive feedback from prospective customers on our data base and have studied this carefully. There were consistent themes: encourage savings for children, introduce lower transaction fees and make banking easier.

"We have met those challenges and Kiwibank is ready to be launched."

"Kiwibank will have a range of savings accounts, all of which offer attractive interest rates. We have ATM/EFTPOS cards, cheque accounts, internet and phone banking, home loans and bill payment services."

Mr Knowles said that bank has a very experienced management team, ironically assisted by the foreign ownership of the other major banks. "Many of our staff would have had to transfer to Australia if they had wanted to continue to advance their careers. Kiwibank gave them the opportunity to stay in this country."

Mr Knowles said the bank was starting on a very sound financial footing with a confirmed credit rating by international agency Standard and Poor's of AA minus, the same rating as the other main banks operating in New Zealand.

Mr Knowles also said the bank project was on time and within budget. He said seven shops would open in February and the full rollout across the country in April and May. "By the middle of the year we aim to have close to 300 Kiwibank branches operating in Corporate PostShops and franchises. This will be the largest number of branches of any bank in New Zealand," Mr Knowles said.


For further information: Bruce Thompson, Kiwibank External Relations Manager (04) 460 6831

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