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Minister announces more details of Financial Summit

Hon Simon Power
Minister of Consumer Affairs
4 August 2011

Minister announces more details of Financial Summit

Consumer Affairs Minister Simon Power today announced the line-up of speakers and chairs for the Government’s Financial Summit to be held in Auckland next Thursday.

The summit will bring together 250 people from community groups, budgeting services, NGOs, banks, financial regulators, and credit companies to look at ways of tackling the problem of irresponsible lending.

“Bringing together all sides of the debate, including third-tier lenders, will help us find ways to close gaps in the system that have allowed loan sharks to prey on vulnerable people,” Mr Power said.
Speakers include Auckland City Missioner Diane Robertson, who will give an insight into the problems consumers can face when taking on credit, PSIS Chief Executive Dr Girol Karacaoglu, who will discuss how important it is for the lending industry to help find solutions, and KordaMentha partner Grant Graham, who will give his perspective on what happens when things go wrong.

Joining them is Sir John Anderson, who will chair the summit, while seven experts will chair sub-groups which will break away to discuss a range of issues.

The sub-groups and their chairs are:
Attitude changing/Financial Literacy: Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan.
Credit advertising: chief executive of the Association of New Zealand Advertisers Lindsay Mouat.
Access to affordable credit/social and community lending: Investment banker and chartered accountant Glen Saunders.
Responsible lending: Banking Ombudsman Deb Battell.
Dealing with those in financial difficulties: Head of BNZ Corporate Affairs Diane Maxwell
Responsible debt: Insurance and Savings Ombudsman Commission chair Paula Rebstock.
Dispute resolution: Law Commission President Hon. Justice Sir Grant Hammond.

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“The high calibre of people who agreed to be speakers and chairs will ensure the summit emerges with practical and meaningful solutions,” Mr Power said.

“This will not be a talk fest.

“I’ve made it clear that I will approach discussions with an open mind, but I expect action that will help vulnerable people trapped in a debt spiral, promote responsible lending and debt management, and guide the Government on improving the financial literacy of New Zealanders, and I’m not ruling out legislating to achieve this.”
The programme for the summit is:

9.30am: Introduction from Financial Summit chair Sir John Anderson
9.35am: Opening address from Hon. Simon Power
9.45am: Address from Auckland City Missioner Diane Robertson
9.55am: Address from PSIS CEO Dr Girol Karacaoglu
10.05am: Address by KordaMentha partner Grant Graham
10.15 - 12pm: Breakout groups (note: closed to the media)
12pm: Lunch break (media welcome to interview participants)
12.30 - 2.45pm: Breakout groups reconvene (note: closed to the media)
2.45pm: Closing remarks from Minister and chair
3.15pm: Media conference with Minister and chair


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