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Greens Call For Full Regional Banking Services

29 September 1999

Green Party Enterprise and Employment spokesperson Sue Bradford has welcomed WestpacTrust's joint venture with NZ Post to provide some banking services to areas where there is no WestpacTrust branch.

"However the trials are all happening in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland which doesn't help the rural people who are crying out for the most basic of banking services," Sue Bradford said. She believes the Green policy of having full New Zealand-owned regional banking services throughout the country is vital in serving rural New Zealanders and for giving a much needed boost to the national and regional economies.

"It's positive that WestpacTrust are trying to expand into areas where they are not represented, but trialling in Auckland and Wellington does nothing to address the damage that has been done to regional New Zealand through multiple bank closures. And they are charging steeply for the most basic banking services," she said.

The Green Party policy is to develop a nationwide network of Kiwi-owned community banks, based on the Bendigo Bank model in Australia.

"Such a network would restore the full banking service that has been taken from regional New Zealand to maximise profit for offshore owners," Sue Bradford said.

"It would also go a long way towards repairing regional economies through keeping people's money working in the area."

Sue Bradford

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