"Take it seriously!" Finsec says
"The prospect of an ANZ takeover of the National Bank needs to be taken much more seriously," said Andrew Casidy, General Secretary of the bank workers' union, Finsec.
"The decision of the Commerce Commission to allow the takeover has again drawn attention to the urgent need for a commission of enquiry into banking in this country.
"If the ANZ were to buy the National Bank it would be the biggest corporate take-over in the country's history - much bigger, for instance, than a take-over by Qantas of Air NZ - and would have a significant impact on the economy. The National Bank is a $6.5 billion dollar business. The entire country's current trade deficit is less than that, at $5.887 billion.
"Contrary to views of the Commerce Commission and major players in the industry, the market will not protect the economy, consumers, communities or staff from the negative effects of such a take-over," Andrew Casidy said.
"The market does not work in the interests of bank customers because they cannot afford the fees, losses and inconvenience involved in shifting their mortgages and accounts from one bank to another. If it did, then bank's that provide the poorest customer service would have bled their customers to other banks already," he said.
"The market certainly will not protect staff, customers and communities when branches close and jobs are lost - which will happen if the ANZ, with its established branch structure, were to take over the National Bank. We agree with Massey University banking expert, David Tripe, that the Commerce Commission's work is not worthy of a pass mark," Andrew Casidy concluded.