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Nats would give regulation of NZ banks to Aussies

Friday, 29 July 2005

For immediate release

National would give regulation of NZ banks to Australia

The National Party’s banking policy would hand control of New Zealand’s banking industry over to Australia. At present New Zealand banks are regulated by the Reserve Bank. National’s proposal, as outlined by its finance spokesperson, John Keys, would be to outsource that regulatory authority to the Australian Prudential and Review Authority (APRA).

Finsec, the union representing New Zealand bank workers, is concerned. “With all New Zealand’s major banks owned overseas, it is crucial that a New Zealand body, such as the Reserve Bank, oversees those banks’ behaviour in our country” Said Finsec’s General Secretary, Andrew Casidy.

“We would hope that the National Party and all other parties recognise the need for New Zealanders to control our banking system.” he said.

National’s call to outsource New Zealand’s regulatory banking authority follows intense lobbying pressure from the Australian owners of New Zealand’s four biggest banks to outsource the Reserve Rank’s powers.

“However, KPMG’s recent annual survey of New Zealand’s financial institutions criticises this Australian lobbying. KPMG’s chairperson, Andrew Dinsdale, stated in that survey:

“One of the ironies of the Australians calling for the APRA–controlled model of course is that they themselves have strict policies regarding bank ownership to protect their national interests. In fact, foreign ownership of systematically important banks in Australia is expressly prohibited.”

ENDS

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