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Govt backs Green initiative on building societies

16 December 2004

Govt backs Green initiative on building societies

The Labour - Progressive Government has supported a Green amendment to the Public Finance (State Sector Management) Bill that will allow Crown entities to bank with building societies.

Green Co-Leader Rod Donald moved the amendment to remove the bank preference clause during the committee stages of the Bill. It was supported by Labour and the Progressives, but opposed by National, NZ First, Act and United Future.

"I'm delighted that local polytechs, universities, hospitals and other Crown entities will now be able to bank with their local building societies," said Mr Donald, the Green Party's Finance Spokesperson.

"For too long foreign-owned trading banks have benefited from bank preference clauses in legislation and building societies have been discriminated against. Changing the Public Finance Act is the first step in removing this bias.

"I can't understand why National, NZ First, Act and United Future are opposed to building societies. These financial institutions are locally owned, member controlled and deserve our support in the face of competition from rapacious foreign-owned trading banks.

"I look forward to organisations such as the Southland Institute of Technology extending their partnerships with local building societies such as SBS by banking with them."

The Green amendments to Section 199 and Schedule 8 of the Public Finance Bill mean that building societies, providing they can satisfy a relevant credit rating test or meet conditions set by the Finance Minister, will now be able to accept deposits from all Crown entities, including health boards and tertiary institutions.

ENDS


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