Swaps scheme under closer scrutiny

Hard-sell banking practices, which have forced a number of Kiwi farmers to quit their land, will come under further scrutiny after Parliament’s Primary Production Committee said today it wanted a full briefing from the Commerce Commission on the issue.

“The Commerce Commission is currently assessing information it has on interest rate swaps deals,” Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor said.

“However, given the growing number of farmers forced into these agreements who are now facing huge financial pressure the issue deserves wider scrutiny.

“Under the loans swap scheme farmers are locked into high interest rates they can't escape unless they pay hefty break fees

“Banks seem to have been extremely vociferous in the way they sold these packages. The committee would be remiss if it didn’t follow through to ensure the primary sectors have not been unfairly disadvantaged through loans swaps.

“I am pleased we now have begun parliamentary scrutiny into a very big and significant issue for the banking, and primary sectors.”