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Banks deposits and managed funds win over fin coys

More than half of New Zealanders are not confident their money would be safe with a finance company, according to the new RaboPlus Financial Confidence Index, which reveals that confidence in the sector has been badly battered.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

by Sonia Speedy

The results show that 54% of those surveyed did not feel confident that their money would be safe, with 51% disagreeing with the statement that finance companies act fairly and with integrity.

Finance companies were the only sector in the survey to get a negative index score in terms of consumer confidence. Other deposit takers fared much better, with banks scoring +39 and credit unions and building societies scoring +23, against the finance companies -20. However, the data also show that non-customers of various institutions have less confidence in them than current customers.

Meanwhile, 84% of those surveyed would either definitely not or probably not invest with a finance company in the next six months. This compared to 75% for credit unions and building societies and 18% for banks.

Overall, the survey revealed that 60% of New Zealanders are less confident investing in the financial sector generally now than six months ago, while 46% said their investments were worth less now than in February.

RaboPlus general manager Mike Heath says trust and confidence in the financial sector has taken a battering.

"The survey results show people are more likely to keep their money with the bank in the short term, or invest in managed funds - a result that is likely to have been influenced by the uptake of KiwiSaver," he says.

While confidence in the financial sector generally is currently low, 30% of New Zealanders expect their financial circumstances to improve in the next six months.

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