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Bank Deal Anti Competitive And Bad News

Media Release
24 October, 2003

Bank Deal Anti Competitive And Bad News

“The ANZ’s purchase of the National Bank is bad news for consumers and for the New Zealand economy,” said New Zealand First leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“As interest and exchange rates continue to climb the concentration of banking services into fewer (and mainly Australian) hands is disappointing,” said Mr Peters.

“Even after the entry of Kiwibank customers are still facing high fees and limited services. The increasing domination of our market by the big trans-tasman conglomerates will do little to improve either. Combined with the reticence of the Reserve Bank to cut the official cash rate the news is bad all round for our productive sector.

“Excessive interest rate margins have been a hall-mark of our so-called competitive market in banking. That market just got less competitive.

“As term interest rates rise ‘hot money’ will be attracted into New Zealand and the resultant speculative purchase of the Kiwi dollar will push exchange rates even higher. How can that be good for our exporters or the economy in general?’ asked Mr Peters.

ENDS

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