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AMP sees merit in NZ financial services hub idea

AMP Financial Services New Zealand managing director Jack Regan can see value in the idea of trying to turn New Zealand into a financial service hub, even though AMP sold its back office business in 2002.The Government is sitting on a report suggesting fi

NZPA
Thu, 18 Feb 2010

AMP Financial Services New Zealand managing director Jack Regan can see value in the idea of trying to turn New Zealand into a financial service hub, even though AMP sold its back office business in 2002.

The Government is sitting on a report suggesting financial services could be a billion dollar industry, providing 3000 to 5000 high-paying jobs, the New Zealand Herald reported this week.

The promotion of New Zealand as a financial services hub for back office functions for financial services firm is being touted by a number of people and has been part of the work of the Capital Markets Development Taskforce.

Mr Regan said the idea was worth looking into.

Financial services made up about 25 percent of Australia's gross domestic product and globally Australia was about the fourth-largest private pension market in the world.

"We are near to shore," he said in reference to New Zealand's proximity to Australia.

"If New Zealand has a real interest in pursuing that sort of opportunity there is not better target than Australia," Mr Regan said.

The flow of New Zealanders to Australia to earn higher wages has been an issue in this country.

Mr Regan said the cost of labour differential could be turned into an advantage, rather than a disadvantage in the financial hub proposal.

"There is a clearly a labour cost arbitrage," he said.

Also, New Zealand's time zone was an advantage in terms of a business information processing environment.

Mr Regan said the financial hub idea was at too early a stage to say whether AMP would be interested.

"We don't know what the proposition looks like. It is very early days."

AMP sold its investment administration business Cogent to France-based BNP Paribas in 2002.

"If we are going to take New Zealand to a more competitive place and generate more economic wealth we have to look at opportunities where we have got positive advantage and I think there are some positive advantages in the proposal being mooted".

NZPA
Thu, 18 Feb 2010
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AMP sees merit in NZ financial services hub idea
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