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Greens Want Regulation In Wholesale Bank Scheme

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Green Party says it supports a collaborative approach to protecting the banking industry in the face of an international finance crisis, but thinks all parties and not just Labour and National should be involved.

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons was asked today about plans for a wholesale bank guarantee scheme. The Government has already guaranteed retail loans and yesterday National leader John Key said urgent progress and a bipartisan approach was needed on the wholesale scheme.

Under a wholesale scheme, the government would guarantee money loaned to New Zealand banks by foreign banks, a scheme being established in Australia and in place in other countries.

Ms Fitzsimons said she was wary of the idea.

"He's (Mr Key's) talking about guaranteeing the international transfers between banks which is a huge New Zealand taxpayer liability to go to the foreign shareholders of those banks," she said.

The Greens had often sought to work with other parties and Ms Fitzsimons said they would be keen to be involved.

`We've as much to contribute on economic policy as anybody, we've often tried to broker cross-party deals on policy but generally others haven't been keen."

Fellow co-leader Russel Norman said if the Government did set up a scheme it would have the right to regulate.

"Clearly the sector has been pretty irresponsible."

Dr Norman said people had been encouraged to take on more debt than they should.

"I think it should be used as an opportunity to say to the financial institutions you've got to be a bit more responsible in your lending practices."

Also chief executive salaries should be looked at.

"If the taxpayer is underwriting your organisation is it right that the chief executive get $2.5 million a year."

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