Government should back Kiwibank to drive down bank profits

The Government should invest in Kiwibank so it can fully compete with the big Australian-owned banks that are draining their profits out of our economy, the Green Party said today.

The big four Australian-owned banks made a record $4.5 billion combined after-tax profits in the 2015 financial year.

“The Government should take action to keep more money in New Zealand and force the big Aussie banks to be more efficient, by investing in Kiwibank so it can compete properly,” Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said.

“$4.5 billion in annual profits is a clear signal that the banking sector is not efficient or competitive, and households and businesses are paying too much for banking services.

“Last year, the big Australian banks made almost $1000 profit for every New Zealander.

“The Government should help build up our own bank so it can handle all the Government’s banking, keep more money in New Zealand, and reduce banking costs to households.

“The Government recently saved $120 million by tendering the government banking contract, and investing that saving back into Kiwibank would be good for New Zealand.

“Auckland families are facing massive mortgages as the average house price rapidly approaches $1 million and farmers are struggling to service their debts, but the banks are sending billions of dollars in profits back home to Australia.

“Kiwibank is our bank and it needs our support to take the good fight to the Aussies,” Mr Shaw said.

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