8 Dec 2014

Farmers say questions still remain over bank swap settlement

From Nine To Noon, 9:34 am on 8 December 2014

Janette Walker is a farmers' advocate, whose work prompted the Commerce Commission's investigation of interest rates swaps. ANZ Bank has reached a $19 million settlement over its marketing of the swaps, which will be used to compensate 178 farmers who laid complaints with the Commerce Commission. New Zealand's largest bank marketed and sold the swap products to rural customers over four years between 2005 and 2009. The Commerce Commission and the Financial Markets Authority took action against ANZ, Westpac and ASB Bank over the products, and said the banks misled customers as to the products' benefits, risks and suitability. Farmers say the swaps were promoted as a way to protect themselves from interest rates rising but when interest rates crashed, they found the interest they were paying on their loans actually rose.