Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) announced today that it is joining forces with The Salvation Army and other great kiwi companies and organisations to help bring The Good Shop to the streets of South Auckland, in a bid to tackle predatory lending.
The Good Shop will take on the so-called mobile traders who prey on vulnerable communities with inflated prices and high-cost credit. The Good Shop will offer access to practical financial advice, food, and quality household goods available on interest-free loans, supported by BNZ and Good Shepherd NZ.
BNZ CEO Angie Mentis says: “We all have a responsibility to support our communities, especially the ones that need it the most. The Good Shop is about getting out and doing exactly that – taking on these mobile traders and lenders head on. Their business model is built off overcharging for things that most people would consider to be the basics, and to do that to the people who can least afford it is simply unacceptable.”
This builds on BNZ’s recent decision to boost funding and resourcing for its Community Finance programme, which is provides in conjunction with Good Shepherd NZ.
The extra resourcing doubles the number of loan workers in communities across New Zealand, providing even better access to low and no-interest loans and financial and budgeting advice.
“These communities are important to us. Over the last four years BNZ’s Community Finance programme has helped people avoid getting trapped in cycles of debt, often pushed by these predatory lenders. We’ve committed $60 million in no and low-interest community lending, and now with the doubling of resources and partnering to launch The Good Shop, people who need it most will be able to benefit,” says Ms. Mentis.