Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Don't speculate at homeowner expense, banks told

23 October 2008

Don't speculate at homeowner expense, banks told

Today, as expected, Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard cut the official cash rate by 1%. It was the biggest single movement since the OCR was introduced in 1999.

The big question for 1.3 million Kiwi homeowners paying off a mortgage will be whether they receive a matching reduction in their home interest rates. So far, only Kiwibank has passed on the full 1%.

Most mortgages, however, are held by the Big Four trading banks: ANZ-National, BNZ, Westpac and ASB. They are all Australian-owned.

"On behalf of struggling homeowners, we demand that the big banks follow Kiwibank's lead and reduce their mortgage rates by the Reserve Bank's full 1% interest cut," said Grant Morgan, chair of RAM - Residents Action Movement.

"Their Australian parents refused to do so on 7 October when the Reserve Bank of Australia cut the official interest rate by 1%. Instead, these greedy bankers offered only a 0.8% cut, thus pocketing one-fifth of the benefit at the expense of Aussie homeowners."

"Their New Zealand subsidiaries have done likewise in the past. They will do the same this time too if they think they can get away with it. We need to shame them and stop them from speculating on their position of power over homeowners," said Mr Morgan.

INTEREST RATE SURVEY

Several days ago RAM initiated a financial survey which has so far attracted over 250 responses in Auckland, Wellington and Whangarei.

One of the three survey questions asks: "Do Australian-owned banks in New Zealand charge mortgage interest rates that are too high?"

"90% of respondents replied yes to this question. The survey's interim results indicate that an overwhelming majority of Kiwis think the Big Four banks are interest gouging," said Oliver Woods, co-leader of RAM candidates group and a candidate for Auckland Central.

"RAM is standing in the election to give voice to the voiceless who are being shafted by corporate interests like the big banks," said Mr Woods.

PROTECT OUR PEOPLE CAMPAIGN

RAM is launching a "Protect Our People, Not the Speculators" campaign. Different elements of the campaign include reducing the cost of home loans, removing GST from food, making speculators pay with a Financial Transaction Tax and lifting the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

"RAM's Protect Our People campaign won't end on polling day," said Grant Brookes, co-leader of RAM candidates group and a candidate for Wellington Central.

"We are a people's movement. So after the election, RAM will continue to mobilise the grassroots around things like winning 3% state loans for first-home buyers of modest means, and forging a broad coalition around a referendum petition to remove GST from food," said Mr Brookes.

BACKGROUNDER ON THE BANKS

Here are the Big Four banks in New Zealand and their Australian owners:

ANZ National Bank - owned by Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (Australia). This amalgamation of the ANZ Bank and the National Bank constitutes the biggest banking operation in New Zealand, holding over one-third of home mortgages ($55 billion).

Bank of New Zealand - owned by National Australia Bank. BNZ is the second largest bank in New Zealand as measured on total lending assets.

Westpac- owned by Westpac Banking Group (Australia).

ASB Bank - owned by Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The Big Four banks control 90% of the banking industry in New Zealand, putting them in a near-monopoly position.

The Big Four banks have been hugely profitable. In the 2007 fiscal year, the ANZ-National Bank made an after-tax profit of $1.1 billion. "We expect to make more than a billion dollars profit again in 2008," said ANZ-National chief executive Graham Hodges. (NZPA 28.7.08.)

The BNZ has announced an after-tax profit of $785 million in the 12 months to 30 September 2008. And ASB Bank cornered a $515 million net profit for the 2008 fiscal year.

The Australian owners of the Big Four banks enjoyed a combined after-tax profit of A$15 billion in the last financial year, partly composed of wealth generated by their subsidiaries in New Zealand.

BACKGROUNDER ON RAM

RAM arose in 2003 as an organiser of the Rates Revolt in Auckland. RAM contested Auckland local body elections, winning over 100,000 votes in 2007.

In March 2008, RAM decided to go nationwide and contest parliamentary as well as council elections. RAM organised a GST-off-food petition which attracted 25,000 signatures.

Over the past six months, RAM has recruited over 3,000 party members throughout the country. The RAM party list contains 26 candidates, while eleven are standing for electorate seats. Our website is www.ram.org.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding “No.” Political debates have little effect on voter behaviour, let alone on election outcomes. Crucially, the limited effect they do have does not involve a change in voters’ policy preferences... More>>

 

Shaw: Wealth Tax Not A Bottom Line For Green Party But They Will Push For It

Green Party co-leader James Shaw says one of his senior MPs misspoke under pressure when she said a wealth tax was one of the party's bottom lines. More>>

ALSO:

Government: More Border Exceptions For Critical Roles

The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Auckland At Bolstered Level 2, Rest Of Country Provisionally At Level 1

Pandemic alert levels for the whole country have been reviewed by Cabinet and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is announcing whether restrictions will be eased. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Supporting Workers And Valuing Their Contribution

Making sure working New Zealanders are safe, healthy and that their contribution to the economy is valued is at the heart of Labour’s Workplace Relations Policy.
“This is Labour demonstrating its commitment to helping working New Zealanders by increasing sick leave, raising wages, protecting them while they are at work, growing jobs and investing in the economy,”... More>>

ALSO:


Dunne Speaks: The Election Campaign Just Grinds Slowly On And On

With just over three weeks until the General Election, the release of the first major pre-election opinion poll this week confirmed what was already being reported about this year’s campaign. Although the gap between Labour and National has narrowed ... More>>

Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at vote.nz . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>

ALSO:

NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>

Election: Arriving Travellers In Isolation To Be Able To Vote By Telephone

Up to 5,000 people in managed isolation or quarantine will be able to vote by telephone in the general election and referendums after an amendment to electoral regulations last week. Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright says the Electoral Commission sought ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels