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ACT Supports Union Call on People’s Bank

ACT Supports Union Call on People’s Bank

Wednesday 14th Feb 2001 Rodney Hide Media Release -- Economy

The Bank Workers’ Union, Finsec, says Jim Anderton’s proposed People’s Bank will just add to the list of problems now affecting the banking industry.

Rodney Hide, finance spokesman for ACT, today tabled a Finsec report in Parliament that he says casts enormous doubt on the ability of the bank to survive.

“The Finsec report is damning. It lists serious issues in banking and demands a proper enquiry before any new bank is set up.

“These people work daily in the banks. They know what they are talking about. And they are saying things like it is absurd to start a completely new banking network while ignoring the present chain of people’s banks run by credit unions. They are saying it would take years to establish the skilled staff, the secure premises and the full range of operations necessary to make a bank profitable.

“Finsec, the bank workers’ union – friends of Labour and the Alliance – is telling the government the People’s Bank is being pushed ahead for political reasons, not commercial reasons. They are telling the government such a bank will have to cope with lower fees, higher interest rates and enormous establishment and development costs – at the same time having to make profits to distribute back to the community.

“Who in their right mind believes this can happen?” Rodney Hide asked.

“Finsec reckons it could take 10 years for the so-called People’s Bank to form any sort of competition to the existing banks. It’s not at all surprising that it’s worried about the effect on the job security of bank staff.

“As Finsec points out, it’s a crook process when the Post Office itself, which would run the bank, is the organisation that reported to the Cabinet on its viability. Where’s the independence in that?”

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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