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Kiwibank Resurrects Post Office Queues

Kiwibank Resurrects Post Office Queues (and NZ Post sticks with BNZ)

Sunday 24 Feb 2002 Rodney Hide Press Releases -- Economy

News that it takes an hour to open an account at Jim Anderton's Kiwibank show the over-hyped `People's Bank' is falling short of the service that was promised, ACT Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide said today.

"It's taking up to an hour to open an account and Kiwibank's spin doctor Bruce Thompson has had to admit that potential customers are often asked to book an appointment. `There are some delays. People are being asked to wait a couple of weeks, or even three weeks, before an appointment that can fit their timetable as well as ours,' Mr Thompson has said.

"A friend attempted to try out Kiwibank with a deposit of $1000 at a Palmerston North branch. He queued up, only to be told to go away and come back in three weeks. What business would turn away a customer with a thousand dollars in cash ready to invest?

"The problem is inadequate staff training and an outdated computer system.

"The delays and difficulties in opening accounts have confirmed franchisee fears. NZ Post is promising them only $12 for each new account and three dollars for each additional family member. It's not enough to cover franchisee's costs. A family of five recently took two and a half hours to sign up. As an angry franchisee explained to me, `that's my shop tied up for less than $10 an hour - I simply can't afford it'.

"A Post Box holder was surprised yesterday to receive his bill with the option to bank directly with NZ Post's bank - the foreign-owned Bank of New Zealand. The 20 February bill states, `another payment option is electronic payment direct into New Zealand Post's bank account, BNZ 02 0500 0340001 015'. Kiwibank opened for business a week before that bill was sent..

NZ Post itself has yet to swap to its own Kiwibank. The queues must be too long. Jim Anderton has. Michael Cullen has. But NZ Post is sticking to the good old BNZ.

"Jim Anderton has promised to prove that the state can outshine private enterprise. So far, the results have been desultory. He's blown $80 million in taxpayer subsidy. He has put enormous pressure on NZ Post franchisees in his attempt to rip them off. And so far, all he's produced are queues, hour-long delays, and a bank that even NZ Post won't bank with," Mr Hide said.


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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