Taking the trust out of Westpactrust
The Green Party is calling on Kiwis to close their accounts at Westpac following today's announcement from the bank that it is dropping 'trust' from its name.
"The word 'trust' was the last reminder that Australian owned Westpac was allowed to gobble up New Zealand's network of community-owned Trustbanks," said Rod Donald. "In the face of community opposition, 'our' bank was sold to Westpac on the promise of a better banking service and more money for community projects.
"In fact, many former Trustbanks were closed after the takeover and the level of service declined at the rest, the bank's fees went up and the profits went straight overseas.
"Meanwhile, funding from the community trusts has taken a nose dive because most of them have lost money on their overseas investments," he said.
Mr Donald said the 'trust' on the end of 'Westpac' implied a merger between the Kiwi and Australian banks when in fact the Kiwi-owned Trustbanks, and the profits they used to generate, were simply swallowed.
"They have finally dropped that pretence," said Mr Donald.
"I'm still angry with both Labour and National for law changes which led to community trusts feeling forced into selling Trustbank in 1996.
"But I've got even by shifting my banking to the last community-owned bank, TSB Bank and have just opened an account for my daughter at Kiwibank.
"I would encourage everyone to switch from foreign owned banks to New Zealand owned and controlled institutions," he said.
"There are plenty to choose from: TSB, Kiwibank, PSIS, SBS and other building societies and Credit Unions."