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ANZ’s exit would be the best thing since sliced bread

(See media article here - Northland Age 9th July 2019)

7th July 2019

Chris Leitch - Leader

ANZ's offer to pull out of the New Zealand banking market would be the best thing since sliced bread.

It should be welcomed with open arms by the Government and the Reserve Bank and a timetable put in place for its exit.

Such a move would allow the development of a much greater number of smaller New Zealand owned community banks such as the former Trust Bank network, and allow the TSB, Cooperative Bank, SBS and Kiwibank to grow.

ANZ’s exit would also mean that its profit of around $2 billion a year would stay in New   Zealand and benefit our economy instead of being shipped off overseas to foreign owners.

The export of that profit increases our balance of payments deficit so that would also reduce when ANZ leaves.

The New Zealand small business sector in particular has been severely disadvantaged since the network of community banks was sold off to the Australian owned monoliths in the 1990's.

The strength of the small and medium business sector which is what powers the German economy and generates the most employment and it could do the same for ours.

By contrast New Zealand's banks have had all their focus on the lucrative housing market and have gone hell for leather with their lending into the sector which has contributed to the insane rise in house prices.

As a consequence the small and medium business sector has found it difficult to access working capital.

Germany is a prime example of small to medium sized businesses having access to dozens of community owned banks whose focus is building up their productive capacity.

The small business sector, and that includes agriculture, should be where the focus is for the country’s economic development.

That's unlikely to happen while four Australian owned banks have a stranglehold on banking in this country.

The exit of ANZ would be a great start towards reclaiming control of our banking sector and our economy.

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