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TSB under direct attack from Jim's Bank

Jenny Shipley Leader of the Opposition

24 February 2001

TSB under direct attack from Jim's Bank

Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley says the people of Taranaki are entitled to feel angry over the Government's plans to steal customers from the locally owned Taranaki Savings Bank.

Speaking in New Plymouth today Mrs Shipley said the so-called Peoples Bank poses "a real and tangible threat to the future growth of the locally owned Taranaki Savings Bank".

"The New Zealand Post business plan makes it clear that the Peoples Bank will compete 'head-to-head' with kiwi-owned banking operations like the TSB.

"Reading the business plan gave me a chance to see inside the thinking of New Zealand Post as it plotted its strategy for the Peoples Bank. That insight made it clear that they don't care about families on low incomes, people in rural areas or the locally owned financial institutions serving those groups. Those customers are undesirable in their eyes, and the small financial institutions are viewed as direct competition which must be beaten.

"It is disgraceful that taxpayer money will be used to steal business from places like the TSB, the PSIS, AA Financial Services, the Southland Building Society and various credit unions.

"Jim Anderton has consistently mislead the public over the intentions of his pet project, in a duplicitous attempt to make it sound touchy-feely and people-friendly. But the business plan is an aggressive document which plots how to compete head-to-head with places like the TSB, and to steal its potential business.

"The people of Taranaki should feel betrayed and outraged that the Government is using $80 million of taxpayer money in an attempt to squash the growth of a successful local initiative like the TSB," Jenny Shipley said.

Ends

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