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Brash's plan to sell Kiwibank ridiculous

12 March 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Brash's plan to sell Kiwibank ridiculous - Kiwibank succeeding well above expectations

Brash's plans to sell key strategic assets including Kiwibank now just looks ridiculous in the light of their six monthly performance report today, says Progressive Deputy Leader, Matt Robson MP.

"New Zealand owned Kiwibank has provided some real competition in bank fees and mortgages, and provides more branches around the country than any other bank. This is a bank New Zealanders want to hang on to.

"Brash's dogmatic approach to selling all state assets of value to the New Zealand public is simply ridiculous in the light of Kiwibank's positive six monthly performance report.

"I am very pleased to hear that Kiwibank has more than doubled home loans and more than tripled retail deposits in six months. They now have 290 outlets around the country and over 200,000 customers.

"Kiwibank is an essential part of many communities around the country now by providing branches when other banks were closing them down, and also offering competitive mortgage rates. Access to fair and affordable banking services was one of the key reasons for the government supporting the bank.

"Clearly Kiwibank is a valuable asset to New Zealanders. Not only did Consumer Magazine name them the 'clear best choice for mortgage holders' but they are running well ahead of their performance targets and look to become profitable by 2004/2005.

"For Brash to promote selling a Kiwi owned, productive, profitable and essential service would lead us back to the dismal high fees and poor access to banking, which people suffered under the 1980s and 1990s, said Matt Robson.

ENDS

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