3 Feb 2009

Goff seeks assurance banks will be flexible

6:55 pm on 3 February 2009

Labour Party leader Phil Goff has been meeting with New Zealand's major banks, seeking assurances they will be flexible when dealing with cases of hardship.

Prime Minister John Key met with the Australian-owned banks in New Zealand last week, for what he says was a general "health check".

Mr Goff met with the chief executives of ANZ-National and Kiwibank on Tuesday and also planned to meet with Westpac and ASB.

He is seeking assurances from the banks that they will take a flexible approach when dealing with families and individuals who face losing their homes during the global recession.

Mr Goff says he has been told the banks have specialist teams available to help families facing difficulties on a case-by-case basis.

Mr Key discussed interest rates with the Australian-owned banks on Friday, as well as the fees banks charge when customers break their fixed-term mortgages.

He told banks he expects them to act fairly in passing on interest rate cuts to consumers.