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'MyBank' is huge Anderton ego trip

Jenny Shipley Leader of the Opposition

16 February 2001

'MyBank' is huge Anderton ego trip

"The proposed MyBank branding demonstrates the extent to which Jim Anderton will use $80 of taxpayer money to promote his own political interest. New Zealanders will be appalled to know that $4 million will be spent on spin as the MyBank concept is launched," Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"In the New Zealand Post business plan they call it MyBank, which is a fitting name for a bank set up solely to feed Jim Anderton's ego.

"Material released today shows that MyBank is being set up for the sake of one man, and has little interest in the people. Far from offering face-to-face service that supports low and middle income people the papers released today show that each branch only expects to spend 75 minutes per day working with the New Zealand public.

"Each customer merits a precise 65 seconds worth of attention, as the bank seeks to direct its customers towards EFTPOS machines and ATMs. Bearing in mind that using those ATMs would cost more under JimsBank/MyBank than it does at present, customers in regional New Zealand could well end up out of pocket.

"Information released today shows that staff look set to get treated no better. Existing PostShop workers are to get a single day's training on how to be a banker, and may not get a penny more for the extra skills they will need to develop.

"While staff get nothing, and despite Mr Anderton's rhetoric about not wasting taxpayers funds on PR, Jimmy's MyBank is to have $4 million spent on spin to launch the bank.

"The public has a right to know what their money is going into, both as taxpayers and as potential customers. The Government has refused to give any information, so that task has fallen to me.

"The simple truth is that Mr Anderton was waging a war of propaganda in order to keep his flagging Alliance party alive. Now that the facts have started getting in the way of his rhetoric he has spat the dummy, like a petulant child.

"It is clear that this bank is his toy and he wants it, whatever the price. Prime Minister Helen Clark should not be indulging Jim Anderton's whims simply to keep her Government in office," Mrs Shipley said.

Ends

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