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Why we need Our Bank

Research showing bank profits are becoming excessive shows why we need a publicly-owned kiwi-bank, Alliance leader Jim Anderton says.

A Massey University report by banking studies director David Tripe finds that banks are achieving 'excessive' profits.

'Bec ause New Zealand's banking system is predominantly foreign-owned, there is always a question as to whether the foreign owners are abusing their powers and making excessive levels of profits at the expense of the New Zealand public,' Mr Tripe said.

The Alliance wants a kiwi-owned bank set up using the New Zealand Post branch network.

'If foreign-owned banks are found by an independent analyst to be making excessive profits, then that is evidence that there is not enough real competition between the banks.

'That's why they all put their interest rates up at the same time, close branches in the same towns and increase their bank charges by the same amount.

'No one wants banks to be unprofitable. But that doesn't mean that any level of profit is justified. The Massey University study shows that the return on shareholders' assets achieved by foreign-own ed banks is far higher than can be justified.

'All those profits are simply flowing out of the country, enriching foreign shareholders at the expense of New Zealanders who are paying higher interest rates and higher bank charges than we should while far too many branches are being closed.

'A publicly-owned New Zealand-bank will mean lower interest rates, lower bank charges and more branches in provincial areas. And it will mean that profits made by the bank are retained in New Zealand,' Jim Anderton said.

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