Having a foreign owned banking sector is a major drain on our economy. Whereas other western countries gain huge wealth from their banking sector, NZ is currently losing about $4.5B per annum to Australia. The benefits of reversing this blood letting are potentialy huge. In the first instance we should look at the NZ govt migrating services from Westpac to Kiwibank if not least to provide Kiwibank with the capacity to make longterm plans for expansion. We should also apply a 'super profit tax' to highly profitable overseas businesses operating in NZ and/ or a tax on dividends paid to overseas parent companies. Even a 10% foreign dividend surcharge on the banking industry would reap $450m p/a without having any catastrophic impact on their investors.
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