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Feel-Good Factor To Be Kiwi Bank's Advantage

Today’s announcement of Government approval of New Zealand Post’s plan to establish a new publicly owned bank, and briefing by New Zealand Post Chairman Ross Armstrong and Chief Executive Elmar Toime, came with an emphasis on feel-good factor.

Deputy Prime Minister said New Zealand Post are conscious of the need to serve New Zealanders in a social sense, and reminisced about the days of Post Office Bank School Saver accounts.

Finance Minister Michael Cullen said the bank would be for “mum and dad New Zealanders” who want simple banking services. The bank will not provide business or corporate services.

Mr Toime said the bank will bring back the personal banking services that have been missing in New Zealand banking since the withdrawal of Countrywide, Trustbank and Post Bank, emphasising family and money management needs.

Mr Anderton said the feedback he had received from the community was that people don’t like the fact that all the banks are overseas owned, and would feel better about banking with a New Zealand owned bank.

Mr Toime said the New Zealand Post’s market research showed the brand has a positive reputation of in the community.

New Zealand Post’s branding and New Zealand ownership were identified by Mr Anderton as factors that would attract customers to the bank and keep them, even if other banks, as they are expected to, matched the lower fees New Zealand Post are proposing.

On the question of the name, Mr Anderton said “Kiwi Bank has a ring to it, but some people find those kind of names a bit corny.” He said that sort of thing is best left to the marketing experts.

Mr Toime said the ‘MyBank’ working title used in the leaked report opposition leader Jenny Shipley made public was never intended as a name for the bank, but was intended to capture the inclusive feel they want for the bank.

Mr Anderton said he trusted New Zealand Post’s judgement on the time frame – the bank is set to open next year – but said tomorrow wouldn’t be soon enough. He said he wants to be the first customer, joking that with his salary he should be making a substantial deposit.

© Scoop Media

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