11 Jun 2009

Maori bank idea proposed

9:25 pm on 11 June 2009

The Maori Party is floating the idea of a Maori bank as one way to stop Australian-owned banks making profits from New Zealanders' money.

Maori Party MP Rahui Katene believes the idea of a community development bank would work and could be funded by iwi organisations.

She says such a bank would mostly specialise in small loans.

Ms Katene says overseas experience shows the idea is viable and it would not take much money to launch.

But Massey University banking lecturer Claire Matthews says setting up a bank is not something that can be done overnight.

She believes iwi are better off persuading people to back one of the existing New Zealand-owned banks in the hope of striking a slightly better deal for customers.