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The people say Yes! To the People's Bank

30 October 2000 Media Statement

The people say Yes! To the People's Bank

Independent confirmation of public support for a People's Bank doesn't surprise the Deputy Prime Minister.

But Jim Anderton says he is overwhelmed by the strength of public support.

The Government is currently considering the business case for a publicly-owned New Zealand bank using the branch network of New Zealand Post. At the moment, virtually the entire New Zealand banking industry is overseas-owned.

Independent research by the prestigious Auckland University Business School Marketing Department indicates that 54% of New Zealanders support the concept of a People's Bank.

40% would 'seriously consider' leaving their bank to switch to the People's Bank.

"It shows how popular the idea is when the public supports a kiwi bank even before the details have been announced," Jim Anderton said.

"I expect the level of support to grow even further when people realise that the kiwi bank will offer lower fees, more branches and better services than existing banks offer now.

"The existence of the kiwi bank will bring pressure to bear for lower fees and improved services at other banks too, since they will have to compete with the kiwi bank.

"Last year overseas-owned banks reaped a profit in New Zealand of $1600 million. There is nothing wrong with making a profit, but profits at that level back up the public's view that there is room for an affordable new bank providing better levels of service."


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