"If the establishment of Kiwibank was intended to reduce prices through competition and do away with the need for a government-backed enquiry into banking then, sadly, it has already failed," said Don Farr, General Secretary of Finsec, the union for bank workers.
Since Kiwibank opened, banks have offered some low cost accounts, but one bank is already quietly increasing fees on products and services where Kiwibank does not compete.
In the back pages of the Herald today the BNZ announced fee increases.
"The banks refer to most of us as low-value customers," said Don Farr. "In fact, with mortgages, credit card charges, fees and the funds customers make available at very low rates of interest, we contribute enormously to their profits.
"The BNZ's stealthy response to the introduction of Kiwi Bank shows that it has no intention of sacrificing profits. It will compete where it has to and its ordinary customers will pay the price of this competetion.
"The BNZ's excuse that the new fees reflect the true cost of transactions is disingenuous. The bank is now embarking on a drive to further reduce its costs and you can be certain that, as in the past, customer fees will not reduce to match."