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Australian Banks Keep Truth From Kiwisaver Customers

13 December – for immediate release

“Lobbying by Australian Banks Keeps the Truth From Kiwisaver Customers” – Simplicity Kiwisaver

Simplicity Kiwisaver CEO Sam Stubbs has just announced that the new not-for-profit Kiwisaver scheme will fill the information gap left by banks who don’t want to disclose their actual fees in dollars and cents to KiwiSaver clients.

This afternoon Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith announced that all KiwiSaver annual statements will have to disclose total fees paid in dollar terms from 2018.

“It is outrageous that lobbying by four big Australian banks has resulted in this information being kept from KiwiSaver clients for another two years,” Mr Stubbs said.

“Sadly the banks have pulled the wool over the Minister’s eyes with their claim that they need to make system changes, at a cost of $1m to disclose these amounts. Meantime over the next 12 months, these banks will charge $160 million in hidden fees to their KiwiSaver clients. We can see why they lobbied so hard”.

“They will also make $4,500 million in profits in that time. How about they spend $1m of that $4,500m in telling the truth about how much their Kiwisaver clients are being charged,” Mr Stubbs said.

“Already two banks – Kiwisaver and ASB – do disclose their KiwiSaver fees in dollars and cents; The government website sorted.org.nz already discloses fees for the different providers on a percentage basis; Simplicity Kiwsaver has been able to work out exactly what these Australian banks are charging in dollars and cents and we have offered to show the banks how to do it. Naturally they haven’t taken us up on our free offer,” Mr Stubbs said.

“We will use the Simplicity.kiwi website to provide all Kiwisaver customers with the truth about what they are being charged by their Kiwisaver provider, because we are sick of the banks pretending that they don’t know. They do know, and report total KiwiSaver fees in their annual returns, but it’s embarrassing for them to tell their customers just how much they are actually being charged.

“This is a sad day for transparency on KiwiSaver fees, and an indictment on the Australian banks and their capacity to influence government policy”, said Mr Stubbs.


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