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Growth shows Nat's plan to sell Kiwibank wrong

26 August 2008 Media Statement

Growth shows why National's secret plan to sell Kiwibank is wrong

National's plan to sell Kiwibank 'eventually' will be a worry for the bank's 650,000 customers following the bank's announcement today of a $36.8 million annual profit, Progressive leader Jim Anderton says.

The MP who got Kiwibank off the ground is again calling on National to sign a pledge to not sell the bank.

"At a time when banks and financial institutions are struggling with global financial conditions, Kiwibank is continuing to grow," Jim Anderton said.

"It is still signing up two thousand customers a week. It is lending two billion more than it was a year ago. Deposits are up by nearly half. The public are expressing their support for our bank very strongly.

"The only cloud on the horizon is the National Party's secret promises behind closed doors to sell the bank. National won't sign a pledge to not sell Kiwibank. On every platform at this election campaign, I will be challenging National Party candidates to sign the pledge not to sell. I started in Christchurch last week with Nicky Wagner, Christchurch Central National Party candidate, who refused to sign.

"National's secret plan is to use the proceeds of a Kiwibank sale to help pay for tax cuts and a new Think big programme. This is irresponsible. An asset can only be sold once, but spending goes on year after year. Selling assets to buy the groceries doesn't make sense now and it never did.

"Kiwibank has stopped all branch closures by other banks, reduced bank fees and it has led interest rates down. Its profit announcement today is another reason for National to change its plan and support Kiwibank."


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