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The Gossip - news from the Finance Sector

The latest news from the FIRST Union finance sector unofficial weblog!











  • Mixed feelings over LVRs

    Friday, March 7, 2014

    KPMG’s recent Financial Institutions’ Performance Survey reports that Reserve Bank loan-to-value ratios have “changed the game” for NZ banks.

    “Before the LVR rule change the banks were probably writing 20 to 30 per cent of their mortgages a month with a greater than 80 per cent LVR - now, they’re probably writing 4 to 6 per cent with a greater than 80 per cent LVR.”

  • Last bank standing

    Friday, March 7, 2014

    The Otago Daily Times reported this week that the big banks are battling to be “the last branch standing” in many smaller rural towns. The growth of online and mobile banking are putting the squeeze on branches, putting the big banks into a war of attrition to be the final bank on the block.

  • Give a little for forestry workers

    Friday, March 7, 2014

    With 11 fatalities last year, forestry is the most dangerous industry in the country. FIRST Union and the CTU have been working together to change this over the last year and have had some significant wins, forcing the industry to conduct an independent inquiry into health and safety.

    We are currently raising money to help get the some of the families who have lost loved ones to a Workers’ memorial day service in Wellington on 28 April.

  • The bear necessities?

    Friday, March 7, 2014

    Bears in Yosemite National Park have taken on a health kick, even if they might not have wanted to.

    A 15 year study shows that measures to stop bears from scavenging for food in campgrounds – including bear resistant food storage containers and cracking down on people leaving items out for the bears – found a 63% drop in the consumption of human food by the bears.

  • Start the day for equal pay

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    On 2 February around 50 caregivers and union members gathered on the steps of the Court of Appeal to support Kristine Bartlett’s Equal Pay case against Terranova Homes.

    And you can help! On Tuesday 25 February the Service and Food Workers Union and NZ Nurses Union have organized a breakfast fundraiser at St John’s Church Hall (corner of Willis and Dixon Streets).

    It will include guest speakers Peter Cranney (the case’s lawyer) and Steph Dhyrberg (CEVEP).

  • Payback time

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    Electro-industrial pioneers Skinny Puppy have sent an invoice of $666,000 to the US Defense Department, having found out their music was being used at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba.

    A guard at the detention centre informed the band that their music was being used to torture supposed terrorists. The band’s songs are characterized by relentless drumbeats, synth samples and, surprisingly, anti-corporate lyrics.

  • ANZ Union Council meetings to kick off

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    The next union council ANZ forum is on the 6th of March and members now have the opportunity to propose issues to be raised with bank management.

    Members from ANZ should have received a brief survey which outlines what we believe are the primary issues, and seeking your perspective on these. Get in touch with your delegate if you have not received  one.  You can also download it from the FIRST Union website.

    Please fill out this survey and return it to the union by faxing it to 04 385 2214 by 26 February.

  • ASB record half-yearly profits

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    ASB have reported Statutory Net Profit after Taxation (NPAT) of $416 for the 6 months ending 31 December 2013, a 14% increase on the previous year. Cash NPAT was $393 million, a 12% increase on the  previous year period. Total interest income came to $1.785 million over the 6 month period at a net interest margin of 2.35%.

    To put things into perspective, that’s $2,260,869.50 a day, $94,202.90 an hour, $1,570 a minute, $26.17 a second. Even when they’re sleeping.

  • All five major banks targeted in fees claim

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    The Fair Play on Fees legal action over allegedly “unfair” bank fees will expand to include all five of the country’s major banks by the end of the month.

    38,800 NZers have signed up to the lawsuit, and customers looking to sign up on the three latest banks – ASB, BNZ, Westpac – have until 11pm on 27 February to confirm a place.

  • Westpac claims meeting and BNZ forums kick off in February

    Friday, January 31, 2014

    We are heading towards bargaining with Westpac  in March, and members’ claims meetings will run from 3 February to 7 March. The meeting schedule is being emailed to all members this afternoon, so please check your inbox to find out when your site’s meeting will be held. Westpac workers can check with their local organiser for more information.  (This schedule can also be found on our website located under Westpac.)



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