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BNZ Strength Shows Room In The Market For Kiwi Ban

The Bank of New Zealand has contributed $389 million to its Australian owner in profits this year – up 8.1% on last year.

And Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton says the BNZ's very strong financial performance shows there is room in the market for a new publicly-owned, New Zealand bank.

The BNZ is owned by the National Australia Bank. NAB today declared a record profit of A$3.37 billion – up nearly 20% on last year.

The NAB's annual report, released today and available at www.national.com.au, reveals the BNZ made an 'underlying' profit for the year to September of NZ$506 million. That's an increase of 16.3% on last year.

The BNZ's net interest income jumped 7.7% while 'other' operating income increased by an astonishing $99 million, or 22.9%. "Other operating income' includes higher fees and charges, with the bank singling out higher credit card fee income.

New Zealand Post has prepared a business case for a kiwi bank that would be established using the NZ Post branch network. The Government is due to consider the case soon.

"I am very pleased to see that the banking sector is so profitable, because it means that there must be room in the market for a kiwi bank offering lower fees, more branches and better services.

"The other advantage of a kiwi bank is that it keeps its profits in New Zealand which helps to benefit other kiwi businesses," Jim Anderton said.

Ends

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