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Kiwibank makes New Zealand stronger

15 May 2008 Media Statement

Kiwibank makes New Zealand stronger

Kiwibank's leadership in bringing down home loan rates shows how a New Zealand-owned bank is needed to keep pressure on rapacious foreign owned banks, Progressive leader Jim Anderton said today.

"Kiwibank's leadership is another example of how a National-led government would mean higher interest rates for New Zealanders."

Kiwibank is leading the market down this week, with its chief executive saying the bank is likely to announce new, lower mortgage rates within the next few weeks.

Jim Anderton said Kiwibank's statement that it can offer lower rates because it is able to source lower interest rates from strong local savings shows why Kiwibank was such a good idea.

"It also shows why the government's emphasis on saving, through Kiwi Saver for example, has been very positive.

"National opposed Kiwibank and still refuses to rule out selling the bank at some point in future. It opposed KiwiSaver and refuses to confirm it will keep KiwiSaver. But these innovations are making New Zealand stronger and keeping interest rates lower.

"A return to a National government will mean higher debt, back to the failed asset sales of the past and higher interest rates for Kiwi households.

"It's not only taxpayers who benefit from Kiwibank's profitability. It's not only Kiwibank's customers who benefit from lower interest rates. The customers of other banks also benefit because their interest rates are being brought down in order to compete," Jim Anderton said.


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