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Former BNZ Chairman Hits Out At Kiwibank Ads

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Dec 17 NZPA - State-owned Kiwibank's advertisements putting down Australian-owned banks are "reprehensible" and "outrageous", says former Bank of New Zealand chairman Kerry McDonald.

Kiwibank also had an unfair advantage through an effective government subsidy and was the most "unsatisfactory part of the banking equation", Mr McDonald told The Dominion Post.

Kiwibank chief executive Sam Knowles said calling the Kiwibank television campaign reprehensible and outrageous seemed to be "more than a little excessive".

The advertising campaign was intended to be fun and was clearly a spoof, he said.

Kiwibank is signing up about 2000 customers a week and has about 650,000 clients, though its market share remains relatively small at 6.3 percent.

Mr McDonald said he supported Kiwibank being in the market, but it should operate on the same basis as other banks. It leveraged off non-bank subsidies in its over-the-counter business.

Competition from TSB and SBS as locally owned banks was "fantastic, and I hope they succeed magnificently".

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