New Zealand’s rural communities will remember why regulations were needed to crack down on the ‘wild west’ conduct of some banks, and should be alarmed to see the National Party proposing to strip back these protections, says Labour Agriculture spokesperson Damien O’Connor.
“National have forgotten that thousands of farmers lost hundreds of millions of dollars to the big banks during the 2000s ‘interest rate swaps crisis’,” Damien O’Connor said.
“Farmers were taken advantage of through dodgy sales practices and misplaced trust of their banks, who were focussed on profit over their customers and communities.
“The National Party has proposed to scrap the Conduct of Financial Institutions Act legislation which was put in place by the Government to stop practices like those which led to the swaps mis-selling.
“The swaps crisis was cited by the Financial Markets Authority in its review of bank conduct and culture in 2018 as one of the reasons for bank conduct to be called into question. Customers were being mis-sold products they didn’t understand, which then crippled them financially.
“That report led to the very legislation National want to repeal.
“National under Christopher Luxon and Nicola Willis can’t be trusted to protect farmers who will exposed again if the legislation is overturned.
“The question has to be asked, who actually benefits from removing this law?” Damien O’Connor said.
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