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.