Labour Party members on Parliament’s finance and expenditure committee have rejected a proposal by the National Party’s finance spokesperson, Nicola Willis, to open an inquiry into competition and regulatory issues in New Zealand’s retail banking sector.
Willis said she was disappointed Government MPs had voted against her proposal for a “short, sharp inquiry”.
”Instead, Government MPs have voted down my proposal for an inquiry, claiming a Commerce Commission market study is likely to occur.”
If that was the case, she said the Minister of Commerce should confirm it immediately.
National’s proposal aimed to provide answers to New Zealanders about competition in banking services through an “open, transparent” select committee inquiry.
”This was never an either/or proposition. An open, transparent select committee inquiry would have been a pragmatic step, equipped with powers to summon witnesses and to require the production of information from banks and others,” Willis said.
”Evidence would have been heard in public, not in the closed interview rooms of a government agency.”
The Act and Green parties also supported the proposal.