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Bank business case is positive

15 February 2001 Media Statement

Bank business case is positive

If Mrs Shipley has the NZ Post business case for a kiwi bank, then she knows that the scenarios it forecasts are overwhelmingly positive, Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton said today, following the release of a document by National Party leader Jenny Shipley.

"If the best she can do is release one solitary line from a business case that is an inch thick, it is pathetic. In attempting to scare people about fees, Mrs Shipley has withheld the previous 162 pages which describe the strategy for achieving a convenient, low-cost bank. She should tell the people of New Zealand that she has seen the profit forecasts, and they look very good.

"Over the last decade the government of which Mrs Shipley was a member received over $500 million in dividends from NZ Post. Now she is baulking at putting a little of that money back in as capital to help the national and international development of the business, when she has seen forecasts showing how positive it will be."

Jim Anderton says he is staggered by the inconsistency of the National Party's position on the bank.

"Last week Mr English said the bank would not have enough customers. This week, Mrs Shipley says it will have too many. Which is it? I am contemptuous of Mrs Shipley's attempts to convince potential customers that they risk their deposits, when she has seen the document proving that her statements are irresponsible."

Of the document, Jim Anderton said that identifying potential risks facing a new business is a prudent part of any business case,

"The document does not predict that it will have too many low balance customers. It simply asks what would happen if its customer base consisted of more low balance customers than expected as a proportion of its overall base. Changing prices is one possible response in that case, although not the only one. Even in that case the business case does not say that overall prices would reach those charged by existing banks.

"I don't have any doubt that the kiwi bank will charge lower fees than its overseas-owned competitors," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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