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Ryall Grandstanding Undermining Banking Inquiry

Commerce, Finance & Expenditure
and Regulations Review Select Committees

Tony Ryall’s refusal to cooperate on terms of reference for a balanced banking inquiry led to an important opportunity being lost,” David Cunliffe said today.

The Commerce Select Committee was considering a motion by Mr Ryall for an inquiry into NZ Post’s banking proposal.

“Contrary to Mr Ryall’s assertion, Government Members expressed a strong desire to conduct a banking inquiry which could include consideration of the role of NZ Post’s proposal,” Mr Cunliffe said.

“Government Members requested that Mr Ryall work cooperatively on balanced terms of reference that would include examination of:
- Industry fees and charges
- Customer service levels
- Industry competition
- The impact that a new low cost competitor in personal banking might make.

“This proposal reflects widespread public concern that existing bank fees and margins are too high and the industry structure too concentrated,” Mr Cunliffe said.

“Rather than work on balanced terms of reference for an inquiry Mr Ryall insisted on putting his motion then and there.

“The motion was consequently lost,” Mr Cunliffe said.

“I can only conclude that Mr Ryall was more interested in grandstanding than a serious banking inquiry,” said Mr Cunliffe.

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