Community Finance addresses a real need – offering low and no interest loans to Kiwis who don’t meet standard bank criteria.
Through our partnership with Good Shepherd New Zealand, we provide no and low interest loans of up to $5,000, which are used for items such as cars, car repairs, household appliances and laptops for study.
To date, Community Finance has provided over 600 loans. We estimate lending has saved customers more than $836k versus borrowing through alternative lenders. BNZ has made $60m in lending available to the Community Finance initiative.
“I am not young and I am not working – there were many things stopping me from getting a loan.”
LES, COMMUNITY FINANCE CUSTOMER
In his own words, Les from Otahuhu isn’t a spring chicken any more and that affects his ability to get a loan. Retired and in his 80s, his car broke down yet again.
Finance options he looked at were astronomical but a friend told Les about the StepUP loans in BNZ’s Community Finance scheme.
Les found the application process simple and stress free, and now he has independence with a reliable vehicle and low interest loan repayments spread over three years.
In total, 30 of the 2017 Deloitte Fast 50 winners bank with BNZ.
Our fourth year partnering with the Deloitte Fast 50 was the best yet, with a BNZ customer taking out the top spot. ZB Homes grew its sales by 1,500% in the last three years, skyrocketing it to the top of the Fast 50 Index.
Backing farmers for the long haul
Dugald McKenzie has been banking with BNZ for 75 years and in August last year celebrated his 100th birthday.
He bought his farm in Southland in 1940 with about £80 to his name – borrowing the rest of what he needed from BNZ.
Dugald’s family now run the farm but he keeps a sharp eye on the finances and has regular tours of the property.
As part of BNZ’s Supersize SME initiative, we supported two start-ups looking to succeed in an environmentally friendly way.
Snap Rentals is looking to completely change the car rental industry. It has introduced Tesla cars and is aiming for a world first – to have all airport shuttles as electric vehicles. Its ultimate goal is to drive change in the industry to move towards a sustainable mobility model and have some exciting developments launching soon that will kick this off.
Ethique produces beauty products in solid bars, rather than liquids contained in plastic bottles. It aims to prevent at least one million plastic bottles from being added to the world’s rubbish pile. Ethique has now moved into a bigger factory and is looking at machinery and automation to keep up with demand from both New Zealand and offshore customers.
Paying your mortgage from the couch
We’re proud to be helping homeowners take steps to becoming debt-free faster. Our home loan repayment tool means customers can increase their home loan payments online from their couch – or anywhere they like. Customers who’ve increased their repayments using this tool stand to save $273 million and take 63,000 years off their home loans. On average, these customers have taken four years and 11 months off their home loans.
Increasing financial literacy
We’ve been working hard to help some of our Institutional and Partners customers’ staff be good with money, through our Work Perks programme. We have done this by providing one on one ‘financial health checks’ to staff members at these companies – helping them to set goals and improve their money management. The feedback from these sessions has been overwhelmingly positive – so we won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
We’ve also stepped up our efforts to help New Zealanders be good with money by almost doubling the number of financial literacy projects completed as part of our Closed for Good volunteer day. This is a great way that BNZ staff can really add value in our communities – by using their financial skills to increase financial capability of New Zealanders.
Through our partnership with Plunket we are continuing to support Kiwi families through the financial pressures that can come with having a baby or growing your family. We hold sessions that look at going to one income and how to best make your income work for your family. These sessions open the door for parents to discuss their individual needs and situations with BNZ and receive the help that they require.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SUCCESS
Through our relationship with The Icehouse, a business enabler that helps owner-managers, entrepreneurs and leaders drive the growth and success of their business, we’ve created joint scholarship awards, which have already sponsored 10 business customers to lift their capability to take their businesses to the next level.
These customers include accountancy firm Campbell Tyson Limited, fertiliser company Dickie Direct Limited, and civil engineers Civtec Limited.
More from The Good Report
Disclaimer: The majority of the data in the report relates to the 2017 financial year ending 30 September – unless otherwise specified.