[3 September/Stuff]

Regional Development Minister, Shane Jones, was told that if he wanted banks to continue to offer branches is rural areas, the Government may need to contribute. He criticised banks for closing branches in provincial towns, and suggested they should be obliged to service rural areas. New Zealand banks made cumulative profit of $5.19 billion in 2017 according to a survey. Massey University Banking Expert, Claire Matthews, was sceptical of a suggestion that New Zealand profits were used to subsidise Australian operations. One of her colleagues, David Tripe, added most banks local profits were reinvested in New Zealand. Kiwibank had also closed branches in recent years. Head of Banking and Finance at KPMG, John Kensington, noted there was nothing to stop the government-owned opening branches in areas where others closed. He said in other areas of the world where branches were needed but not profitable they existed.