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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 38, Number 25. 2nd October 1975

The Bank of New South Wales

The Bank of New South Wales

The 'Wales' is the third largest of the foreign banks operating in New Zealand It was established in New Zealand In 1861. It is Australian owned. Its directors are drawn from many of Australia's largest industries, for example. Sir John Dunlop and TJN Foley are both directors of Colonial Sugar Refining Ltd., The interests of the latter firm go far beyong sugar refining to include investments in Fletcher Holdings Ltd.. CSR own 24% of Fletcher's shares. This makes one of New Zealand's largest firms subject to foreign control.

In Australia the Bank of NSW owns 52% of the shares of the Australian [unclear: Garantee] Corporation Ltd, Australia's largest finance company One hundred percent of the Australian Guarantee Corporation (NZ) Ltd are owned by the Australian Guarantee Corporation (Australia). AGC (NZ) Ltd in 1971 acquired 100% of the shares of another major New Zealand finance company Alliance Finance Corporation. Both these finance companies are in the largest few in this country which do most of the business.

The directors of AGC (NZ) Ltd sit on the boards of over 20 other New Zealand and foreign owned companies in this country These include Feltex (NZ) Ltd, Cerebos Foods (NZ) Ltd, [unclear: Cents] Insurance, J. Lucas (NZ) Ltd and McAlpine Refrigeratic

Fletcher Holdings, besides its links with the Bank of NSW through its principal shareholder CSR, also has links with the CBA — the Commercial Bank of Australia — the smallest trading bank operating in New Zealand.

Fletcher Holdings own about 30% of Marac Holdings Ltd. Marac has its own merchant bank and its own finance company. The CBA is the second largest shareholder in Marac having over 21% of the shares. Two of the other principal shareholders are also foreign, the Security Pacific National Bank Group (Los Angeles) and National Mutual Life Association of Australasia who owns 20% and 3% respectively. (NMLA also has shares in many major New Zealand companies, as do most insurance companies operating in New Zealand. Among these vast shareholdings is a 2% holding in Fletcher Holdings.)

Fletchers also have a large holding in another merchant bank, the New Zealand United Corporation, Ltd. Fletchers own 10% while the Bank of America International Financial Corp and Barclays Bank International both own 20%. The other major shareholders is the managing director F. H. Renouf with 22% of the total shares. The two foreign banking groups involved the NZ United Corporation are respectively the first and fourth largest in the world.

The NZ United Corporation has 10 subsidiaries which provide credit, invest in industry and provide other commercial services. J.C. Fletcher, the managing director of Fletcher Holdings sits on both the boards of these important financial institutions. Along with him the other directors of these two companies sit on the boards of over 70 other companies. These include the South British Insurance Company (along with Sir John Dunlop who is on the Boards of CSR and the Bank of NSW). Pacific Steel, Dalgety NZ Ltd. Tasman Pulp and Paper, BP New Zealand Ltd. Southern Cross Medical Care Society, Certified Concrete Holdings, the CBA, New Zealand Breweries, UEB Industries, Zip Holdings, EMI (New Zealand) Ltd, Odlins, Group Rentals (which is connected with the National Bank) and Miskimming Industries.

In New Zealand, as in most capitalist countries, a merging between monopoly finance capital and monopoly industrial capital has occurred. This is illustrated in New Zealand best by the links between Fletchers and the above mentioned Banks and finance corporations, and the many other companies that are linked by virtue of common directors and investment (e.g. Tasman Pulp and Paper is 17% owned by Fletchers). With control over a large section of the economy, employment and economic development are squarely place in the hands of J.C. Fletcher and his foreign masters. By controlling economic development and employment, these companies ultimately determine the quality of life in New Zealand. The criteria which determines what the companies do is profit and in the case of the above companies it is mostly profit for foreign shareholders. Thus, although the development of heavy engineering is important to New Zealand's industrial development, and saves valuable overseas funds, Fletchers closed down Fletcher Bernard-Smith, one of the most prominent companies in the field, in the interests of profitability.

The finance sector in New Zealand is highly interconnected. It is largely foreign controlled. Recently 'Truth' ran an exposure of some ex-civil servants and politicians who they claimed were planning to nationalise the finance sector of the economy If we are to gain control over our economic development, and establish the type of society we want, then this move is an imperative first step. Profits for foreign banks and the sort of New Zealand we want are not complementary, they are conflicting objectives.