Kiwis need an alternative to online banking

Labour has voted against an inquiry that would look into how banks and government agencies are making sure vulnerable people are still able to manage their financial affairs independently, despite moves to stop accepting cheques, National’s Treasurer Andrew Bayly says.

“We have heard from numerous organisations that as many as one million New Zealanders find internet banking confusing, stressful or even impossible.

“This includes those who are elderly and not digitally-enabled, those with impairments such as sight, or conditions such as dyslexia, those who cannot afford electronic devices, and those with poor internet connectivity.

“Government services need to make sure they are still providing adequate access to services that meet the needs of all New Zealanders.

“Instead what we’ve seen is a move towards removing cheque payments and the shutting down of bank branches in rural and small communities.

“We do not want to be disenfranchising such a large proportion of our society.

“It’s disappointing that Labour, who regularly uses the term ‘wellbeing’ as a driving force behind its policies, has chosen to disregard the wellbeing of a significant number of vulnerable New Zealanders and vote against this inquiry.

“It will be disappointing for many that Labour has chosen to put petty politics ahead of the needs of New Zealanders.”

Note: The motion for an inquiry was put to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. National, ACT and the Greens members supported the inquiry. The Labour members did not.