Media Release: FIRST Union
20 June 2014
Leaked Financial Services Agreement would lock in failed neoliberal model
Today Wikileaks released the secret draft text of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Annex, ahead
of the next round of TISA negotiations in Geneva next week.
The leak shows the negotiation is being spearheaded by the US and EU and the New Zealand government is willing to
unquestioningly accept these rules, says FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.
“We’ve long lobbied against the highly undemocratic nature of similar multilateral negotiations like the TPPA, but this
appears to be even worse. This has the fingerprints of the world’s largest banks, finance and insurance companies all
over it,” said Reid.
“What we see in this leak is these same banks and finance companies seeking to lock in the failed neoliberal model and
circumvent regulation that could affect their future profitability, while governments are aiming to deregulate our
financial sector and those of our major trading partners even further.
“New Zealand was largely insulated from the GFC due to the fact that our banks are Australian-owned, where the financial
industry is more tightly regulated.
“There are already dire warnings from Australia that TISA will threaten these rules. Where their banks go, ours go too.
Greater risk, more competition and higher profits for the Australian banks threatens their New Zealand customers and the
jobs of our members in the finance industry."
"New Zealand has done little to tighten the rules in response to the financial crisis, and the finance company and other
home-grown scandals. The last thing we need is to take the hands further off the rudder."
“We desperately require a public debate on how to reform our super-profitable financial sector that currently rewards
and encourages damaging risk-taking behaviour. The government should abandon these ill-conceived negotiations and focus
on putting the financial house in order at home".
Putting Workers First
FIRST Union is New Zealand's second-largest private sector trade union.
Formed in 2011 after the merger between the National Distribution Union and Finsec, FIRST Union represents 27,000
workers in the Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood), Retail, Stores, Transport and Logistics sectors.
FIRST Union is also affiliated to the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and runs several networks including the Union
Network of Migrants, the Runanga, Fono and Womens' Committee. In 2015 FIRST Union launched Samoa First Union, Samoa's
only private sector union.
Join FIRST Union today for higher pay, better conditions and more say at work.