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New Zealanders continue to support Kiwibank

16th February 2006

New Zealanders continue to support their local Kiwibanks

The announcement today of Kiwibank's profit of $5.4 million after tax for the six-month period ending December 31 has delighted Jim Anderton.

"New figures just released also show that Kiwibank is signing up 450 new customers a day and has had rapid growth in all key areas including the home loan market and business banking. This is all very good news indeed," Jim Anderton said from Wellington.

"This certainly vindicates those who supported the concept of a Kiwibank and those that campaigned with me for years to bring this about. It shows we were right about the desire New Zealanders have for a local New Zealand-owned bank.

" New Zealanders have not only supported this bank because it returns profits to New Zealand – to be sure that is a big plus for many people who can see the logic of building up New Zealand's cash reserves – but overwhelmingly it is offering great services, better interest rates and lower fees. It is able to be creative and flexible, which attracts customers and captures the imagination of Kiwis," Jim Anderton said.

"When I think back to all the doomsayers and the negativity surrounding the setting up of Kiwibank, I have to ask myself what was that all about? Unfortunately, the knockers in the National or ACT parties haven't learnt any lessons from the success of the 'peoples bank'. Perhaps they might reflect that the foreign-owned banks in New Zealand made $1.7 billion in the last reported period, much of which will have been repatriated out of New Zealand.

"The National Party shows no pride in New Zealand. They keep talking down the economy, saying there is going to be a recession. They keep saying everyone wants to live in Australia, that it is better over there," said Jim Anderton.

"Kiwibank is living proof that a publicly owned bank can foot it in an extremely competitive banking market. Not only did Kiwibank stop provincial and rural bank closures but it made the 'big four' banks reassess their high user charges because there was genuine competition out there in the form of Kiwibank.

"The continuing success of Kiwibank is another reason to be proud of what we can do here and our growing international reputation that good things are happening in New Zealand", Jim Anderton said. "There is a good deal of international interest in the success of Kiwbank and we should be proud to celebrate its success."

ENDS

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