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Kiwibank critics should apologise

Kiwibank critics should apologise

Jim Anderton wants the critics of Kiwibank to apologise.

The Progressive leader and Minister for Economic Development opened a new branch of the publicly-owned bank in Nelson today and was presented a waistcoat made from the Nelson flag.

He said the bank is defying its critics who predicted it couldn’t succeed.

“It is performing even better than the business case that New Zealand Post put to the government.

“The biggest query over the case for Kiwibank was the question of whether new customers would join the bank in the numbers that were predicted. In fact, New Zealanders are joining faster. This week, the bank passed 60,000 customers – more than ten per cent ahead of the business case for the bank.

“This month alone, up to Monday, the lowest number that joined the bank on any given day was 464, and the highest was 580 new customers on a single day. Total deposits with the bank are ahead of the predictions. New customers are being drawn from all income and social sectors.

“The bank has a very solid AA- credit rating. It is backed by the financial security of New Zealand Post. And it is performing successfully.

“The time has come for the critics of Kiwibank to stop knocking a New Zealand success story. Their criticisms have failed, and they should apologise.”

Jim Anderton said he would like to see Kiwibank expand its services to small businesses in the future.

“At the moment, Kiwibank is not offering a service for small businesses, although it does accept banking business from sole traders and community groups.

“There are close to a quarter of a million small businesses in New Zealand. I would rather that they spent their cash on growing their businesses than expanding the profits of overseas-owned banks through excessive fees and businesses lending rates,” Jim Anderton said.

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