Inside Money

Business writer David Chaplin blogs on personal finance

Inside Money: Scheme 10075 number comes up for BNZ

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Photo / Supplied

Just under a year since I reported its imminence the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) has finally registered its KiwiSaver scheme for business (registration no. 10075).

While a legislative block to its proposed mortgage-offset innovation delayed the BNZ KiwiSaver launch, banks bureaucracies tend to be slow-moving beasts anyway.

The long wait will probably not harm BNZ's chances of getting its KiwiSaver scheme up to scale in next to no time: BNZ customers should expect to see a new brochure in the rack soon and, perhaps, hear a discreet word from their personal bankers at the first available opportunity.

Even so, with membership growth inevitably stalling (as Tower's latest analysis of IRD KiwiSaver figures shows), BNZ will most likely be converting existing members of other schemes rather than signing up new believers.

Of course, the bank could receive an immediate $800 million plus boost to its KiwiSaver coffers if it does pick up the in-play Tower investments business - an outcome that is far from clear at the moment.

A BNZ spokesperson said a prospectus for the KiwiSaver scheme, registered under BNZ Investment Services Limited, should be available "in the next few weeks".

"We can however advise that BNZ Investment Services Limited is considering making an offer of securities to the public, however no money is currently being sought and no applications for securities will be accepted or money received unless and until the subscriber has received an investment statement," the spokesperson said.
Russell Investments has been awarded the funds management contract for the BNZ KiwiSaver scheme.

The bank has also signed up Guardian Trust (now owned by Australian firm The Trust Company) for trustee services. Guardian and the other two main trustee companies, Public Trust and Trustees Executors, have all benefitted enormously from KiwiSaver - particularly after a directive came into force last year requiring all publicly-available schemes to appoint a corporate trustee.

Not that you'd necessarily know.

Unless the products they are meant to oversee stuff up badly (think finance companies and Perpetual Trust, for example) trustee companies tend to operate well below the surface.

And that's probably why Trustees Executors didn't think about announcing to the market its long-time director, Deepak Gupta, has left the role.
However, Gupta has already been expunged from the Trustees website , which now lists Rob Russell as executive director (acting).
Trustees Executors was not available for comment prior to deadline.

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