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Our bank beats the rest

Written By: - Date published: 2:34 pm, May 2nd, 2008 - 29 comments
Categories: economy - Tags: , ,

Today, ANZ and National Bank announced they are lifting their variable mortgage rates another quarter of a percent to 10.95%. That comes a week after the two banks, which are jointly owned, announced a net profit of $520 million in six months, up 7% on the previous period. Yesterday, Westpac announced a $244 million profit, 12% up on last year.

The foreign-owned banks make a killing off New Zealanders who are forking out for these inflated interest rates. Meanwhile, Kiwibank, which is not just kiwi-owned but owned by all of New Zealanders through our government, has cut its two-year fixed mortgage rate to 9.29%.

Kiwibank was Jim Anderton’s pet project designed to break the cartel behaviour of the foreign-owned banks. The tories said it would never fly and John Key planned to sell it when he was Finance Spokesman (he’s flip-flopped on that too). Now, 600,000 kiwis have accounts with the bank that they own and it is going from strength to strength. Kiwibank started making profit a year earlier than expected and managed to return a tidy profit of $22.7 million to the taxpayer last year without gouging customers like the private-owned banks. The cartel has refused to lower their profits but they are losing customers rapidly.

Kiwibank also offers a better rate on their online call account than ANZ. In fact, why the hell am I still with ANZ? I’m going down right now to change banks.

Private-owned banks: bastards.
Kiwibank: so awesome. Great ad campaign too.

29 comments on “Our bank beats the rest”

  1. AndrewE 1

    What’s taken you so long to notice? I’ve been with Kiwibank for about 3 years now. No fees for the win!

  2. Patrick 2

    I’m with National bank, and quite frankly I can’t stand them. If only changing banks was a simple process I would have moved to Kiwibank a long time ago. I think I might start up an account there anyway, and do it gradually.

  3. Higherstandard 3

    Don’t forget TSB.

    And question why doesn’t the government move from supporting Westpac (I understnd all provisional tax still goes through Westpac if paying by cheque) to Kiwbank ?

  4. MikeE 4

    “Kiwibank: so awesome. Great ad campaign too.”

    Kiwibank’s ad campaign reads like an advertisement for NZ First.

  5. Steve Pierson 5

    HS. Good question. Maybe it’s a matter of Kiwibank getting big enough to handle the load. I don’t know.

    MikeE – how do you read a TV ad?

  6. ghostwhowalks 6

    I have noticed that one of the other banks ( BNZ) is also asking for term desposits as security AS WELL as the property itself for loans to developers and others.
    Cheap money on deposit, higher interest rates as well.
    They know how to screw the public

  7. Steve, you quoted ANZ’s floating rate (10.95%) and Kiwibanks 2 year fixed rate. I have just checked and Kiwibanks floating rate is 10.45% (http://www.interest.co.nz/mortgages.asp). Kiwibanks 2 year rate ranges up to 9.65% depending on equity and ANZ’s rate is 9.70%.

    I reset this week for 2 years with ASB Bank at 9.60% so Kiwibank are hardly setting the world on fire.

    This doesn’t appear to be paying off in increased market share for Kiwibank with their new business addition flat for the last few years: http://www.interest.co.nz/ratesblog/index.php/2008/01/02/chart-residential-mortgage-market-share/

  8. Steve Pierson 8

    I know they’re different rates buts the point is Kiwibank is dropping rates, while ANZ/National is raising them. And the foreign banks are making huge profits.

  9. toms 9

    MikeE doesn’t believe in silly things like being patriotic – he love Ayn Rand, and that’s a bit of white bread needs.

  10. toms 10

    God damn this key board of mine! I’m going to throw the bloody thing away tomorrow.

  11. So kiwibank is funded by the tax payer, huh.

    Anyway, any bank that uses Diebold for their ATM machines are doing something right.

    More money for Bush, bank with kiwibank.

  12. Hm interesting, the kiwi bank is doing well eyh?
    Now if you want to know were John Key’s loyalties are really lying than it would be a good idea to watch the film “Money as debt” http://crazyrichguy.wordpress.com/what-is-money/
    And the “Money Masters”
    http://crazyrichguy.wordpress.com/the-money-masters/
    John Key has announced that he wants to sell the Kiwi bank. You watch those two films and you will know why and where his true loyalties lie and honey, it ain’t with us.

  13. uroskin 13

    I’m amazed too you hadn’t noticed the NZ-owned banks great deals before. I’m proud to be a foundation member. Great rates on credit cards too!

  14. Tane 14

    So kiwibank is funded by the tax payer, huh.

    No, it’s owned by the taxpayer. Ever heard of State Owned Enterprises Brett?

  15. Phil 15

    Steve, I cannot let you away with this one – banks are my baby and your ignorance here is astounding.

    Trying to compare ANZ’s floating mortgage rate to Kiwibanks 2-year fixed mortgage is like trying to compare apples and oranges – they’re distinctly individual beasts developed in totally different manners, driven by different market factors.

    A better comparision would be Kiwibanks 2-year rate vs the other banks. They’re about 11 points lower than the best of the “big 4” 2-year rates, but require a 20% deposit – the others are only 10%.

    Kiwibank also put their floating rate up 55 points in March, to the market average. In real terms they’re charging you exactly the same as the others, and to try to paint it otherwise is ignorant, or deceptive. Remember this is the bank proudly displaying a 5-year rate at 9-point-something, when not that long ago they were able to offer the same loan at 6.99% (late 03?)

    On the other side of the ledger, what about their deposit rates? Kiwi’s best is 8.30% for an online call account, the SAME as Westpac’s, and LESS that Rabobank.

  16. higherstandard 16

    Phil

    While I agree with your analysis – why let it worry you – the punters will decide where and who to put their money with.

    Some are attracted to Kiwibank because of a sense of Nationalism and that’s fine while others will prefer the service and wider options available at the larger banks.

    Now that Kiwibank is turning a profit I say leave it alone and if people want to bank there they’re welcome to – if it turns to a situation where the government is proping them up financially my opinion would of course be different

  17. Tane:

    Owned by the taxpayer? hahahahaha.

    Nice play on words.

  18. ghostwhowalks 18

    Rabobanks savings call account is 8.35%

    http://www.raboplus.co.nz/

    Your ‘baby’ uh , Phil

  19. Steve: as a customer I’m not focussed on the profit the bank is making, only what they are charging me as a customer and the value I get. It (quoting Phil) seems that Kiwibank are no better than the ‘big four’ when it comes to rates. Perhaps ANZ/National makes more profit because it has more efficient back office systems or has wisely moved it’s processing to Bangalore 🙂 ?

  20. Fred 20

    And the reason why banks are charging high interest rates (Kiwibank included)? Our OCR is one of the highest and who underwrites this high rate? – the taxpayer. ie. the taxpayer pays the banks and foreign investors the best risk free rate in the world so they can pass these high rates onto . . . . have a look at the moneymasters!

  21. I was an ANZ customer for 23 years, but after the “500 jobs to Bangalore” announcement, I found myself at the same time presented with an opportunity to move my “millions” to Kiwibank. I took it. ANZ can claim they are also committed to NZ, but the 500 jobs to Bangalore says their shareholders mean more to them than New Zealand does. Well, every such decision has consequences and costs attached that may not have featured on their calculations. Kiwibank overcomes that divided loyalty by being owned by all New Zealanders. Good enough for me.

  22. Colvin 22

    Kiwibank didn’t return a profit of $22.7 milliion to the tax payers. That money either gets reinvested in Kiwibank, or paid back to New Zealand Post who essentially lent them lots of money. Kiwibank will in the future pay large returns to New Zealand Post, and subsequently the Government, but it’ll be a few years before it’s actually a return to taxpayers.

    But anyway, yes, y’all should open a kiwibank account.

  23. infused 23

    Steve you really get the beat down every time you post. In short I think you should reduce our carbon emissions and stop posting.

    Thanks in advance.

  24. Phil 24

    I forgot to add another couple of points;

    1) Average funding cost vs lending return.
    You can see these here; http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/monfin/rbssr/rbssrpartD/data.html
    The spread (lending rate less funding rate) has steadily declined since Dec2004. That is; on every dollar lent/borrowed, the banking sector is making less of a margin than before. If they’re making a profit, it’s not coming the

    2) Fixed (bricks and mortar) costs
    I have not looked deeply into the financial accounts for Kiwibank, but I would be confident in guessing that the piggy-backing nature of their arrangement with NZ-Post branch locations is saving them a great deal of money. Good business sense really, but another reason why they might be able to offer better rates than other banks

  25. Phil 25

    oh, for an edit button!

    “If they’re making a profit… ”

    If they’re making a profit, it’s not coming through that channel.

    [lprent: it is in my queue of things to implement. Need to get the stability problem beaten (again)]

  26. stevedore 26

    I’d be interested in your views on Kiwibank’s employment practices and corporate social responsibility practices. I’m a Kiwibank customer but am concerned by anecdotal stories I have heard that it’s practices (and also TSB) in both these areas is less responsible than the large major banks.

  27. big bruv 27

    Is this the same bank championed by Comrade Anderton?, the same “our bank” that Anderton does not even use himself.

    What a joke, this would be the last bank I would ever use, I can only hope that the Nat’s sell it in their second term.

  28. Today Kiwibank has cut its key 2 year fixed mortgage rate to 8.99% from 9.29%.

    http://www.interest.co.nz/ratesblog/index.php/2008/05/16/kiwibank-cuts-2-yr-mortgage-rate-to-899/

  29. Phil 29

    Remember though, that particular rate requires you to have a deposit, or equity, of 20% of the Loan to Value Ratio (LVR), while the other advertised rates are between 5% and 10% LVR from the other banks.

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