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We live in your world - February 2011

We live in your world - February 2011

New Zealand looks to boost savings

New Zealand looks to boost savings

The New Zealand (NZ) Government is in the process of considering the final report of the Savings Working Group established last year to look at strategies to boost savings and stimulate public discussion on savings issues.

As NZ’s largest bank and the largest KiwiSaver  provider, we have a key role to play in contributing to the public discussion about NZ’s rate of savings and investment, particularly in the Government and household sectors.

In our submission to the Working Group, ANZ New Zealand said the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) had brought home the importance of better financial management to New Zealanders, including the need to reduce debt and save.

While adjustment post GFC has been slow and painful, our submission highlighted that there are signs people are moving from a spending to a savings mentality and that this shift creates an important opportunity to change poor and deep-seated attitudes to consumption and investment on the part of too many New Zealanders.

John Body, MD of our Wealth business in NZ said, “There is opportunity in the new economic climate for New Zealand to embed this new attitude to the value of saving and investment, and transform our prospects for long-term economic growth.”

“While there is no magic bullet to quickly grow New Zealand's rate of saving and investment, there are a number of actions we proposed to the Savings Working Group that will support the steady growth of financial assets held in New Zealand,” John said.

These actions include:

  • Enhancing KiwiSaver to encourage increased enrolment and ensure members continue to contribute through their working life
  • Improving investor confidence and New Zealand standards of financial and investment literacy
  • Having a tax regime more supportive of savings and investments
  • Developing a wider range of investment opportunities in local capital markets
  • Agreeing a multi-party, national savings and retirement income strategy based on certainty, transparency, fairness, choice and security

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