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Leaked Agreement would lock in failed neoliberal model

Media Release: FIRST Union

20 June 2014

Leaked Financial Services Agreement would lock in failed neoliberal model

Today Wikileaks released the secret draft text of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Annex, ahead of the next round of TISA negotiations in Geneva next week.

The leak shows the negotiation is being spearheaded by the US and EU and the New Zealand government is willing to unquestioningly accept these rules, says FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.

“We’ve long lobbied against the highly undemocratic nature of similar multilateral negotiations like the TPPA, but this appears to be even worse. This has the fingerprints of the world’s largest banks, finance and insurance companies all over it,” said Reid.

“What we see in this leak is these same banks and finance companies seeking to lock in the failed neoliberal model and circumvent regulation that could affect their future profitability, while governments are aiming to deregulate our financial sector and those of our major trading partners even further.

“New Zealand was largely insulated from the GFC due to the fact that our banks are Australian-owned, where the financial industry is more tightly regulated.

“There are already dire warnings from Australia that TISA will threaten these rules. Where their banks go, ours go too. Greater risk, more competition and higher profits for the Australian banks threatens their New Zealand customers and the jobs of our members in the finance industry."

"New Zealand has done little to tighten the rules in response to the financial crisis, and the finance company and other home-grown scandals. The last thing we need is to take the hands further off the rudder."

“We desperately require a public debate on how to reform our super-profitable financial sector that currently rewards and encourages damaging risk-taking behaviour. The government should abandon these ill-conceived negotiations and focus on putting the financial house in order at home".


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