Australian-owned Superbank says it is to close its banking operations in New Zealand. However, it has made arrangements for customers to transfer to another bank.
Superbank launched in 2003 as a joint venture between Australia's St George's Bank and supermarket operator Foodstuffs. It was set up as a phone and internet bank which marketed itself in Foodstuffs supermarkets - New World, Pak'N Save and Four Square.
However, Superbank says market conditions have changed over this time and margins in mainstream residential lending in New Zealand have become too competitive. It has sold its mortgage book containing more than 2,000 loans valued around $500 million to GE Money.
An agreement has also been struck with Kiwibank to take on the bank's 25,000 depositors. Customers who don't take up this offer will continue to accrue interest until September 25, when money left in the account will be repaid in full.
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