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Australian-controlled bank supervision rejected

21 February 2005

Greens reject Australian-controlled bank supervision

The Green Party is calling on Finance Minister Michael Cullen to reject Australian overtures for a single trans-Tasman banking regulator.

Following Dr Cullen's meeting with Australian Treasurer Peter Costello last week, speculation is rife that the outcome of joint discussions on harmonising banking rules will be a single regulator.

"It is simply not in our national interest for the Aussies to set the rules for running banks in New Zealand," Green Co-Leader Rod Donald said.

"We would never let the Australian Rugby Union pick the All Blacks, so why would we let the Australian Prudential Supervisory Authority control our banking system?"

The Green Party supports the concerns raised by both the Reserve Bank and Treasury about a single trans-Tasman regulator.

"While there may be room for some harmonisation of banking regulations, New Zealand's national interest must remain paramount.

"But we are not prepared to see the Reserve Bank's regulatory role disappear or to accept the job losses and tax rorts that will inevitably result from an Australian takeover.

"We applaud the Reserve Bank's initiatives to ensure that New Zealand depositors are protected and Inland Revenue's efforts to make Australian-based banks pay their fair share of tax. But we have no confidence the Australian Prudential Supervisory Authority would protect the kiwi from the kangaroo.

"As the Anzac display at the Australian War Memorial Museum in Canberra reads: 'Our futures will be together, as two, strong and independent nation states'."

ENDS


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