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Customers Of Aussie Banks Benefit From Kiwibank

15 January 2002

Even Customers Of Aussie Banks Benefit From Kiwibank

The introduction of a new ANZ account to compete with Kiwibank shows that the new publicly-owned New Zealand bank is delivering benefits even before it opens its doors, Alliance leader and deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton says.

“Even New Zealanders who don’t bank with Kiwibank are benefiting from the increased competition. The Aussie banks have to do much better if they want to keep customers – and it’s Kiwibank that is making them do better.

“The Australian banks should be explaining why they can afford to reduce their fees now, when they couldn’t afford to do it until the prospect of competition from Kiwibank arrived.

“The overseas-owned banks have already pulled back on their large-scale branch closures, and the more the other banks drop their fees to compete the greater the benefit for the New Zealand economy as a whole.

“Lower fees leave more in the pockets of New Zealanders to spend on other businesses and on more productive activities than bank fees.

“It is up to customers themselves to decide whether they want an account that doesn’t offer basic banking products like chequebooks and overdrafts. If Kiwibank had offered such a basic product it would have been condemned by its critics. Now they have to admit that the Kiwibank is delivering benefits even before it opens its doors.

“Given that the Kiwibank will be profitable in three years, and an asset worth $500 million after ten years, the response of other banks shows that the new bank is a very positive policy initiative,” Jim Anderton said.


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