Australian-owned banks have scooped up about half of the New Zealand KiwiSaver market, according to new research supplied to I&T News.
The figures, culled from annual reports for the year to March 31, 2011, show that KiwiSaver providers owned by ANZ, Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) controlled about $NZ4.5 billion ($3.3 billion) of the approximate total of $NZ9 billion accumulated in the quasi-compulsory savings scheme as at the end of the period.
ANZ topped the list with $NZ1.95 billion under management across its four KiwiSaver schemes (ANZ, National Bank, OnePath and SIL) while the CBA-owned ASB KiwiSaver fund was the single largest scheme growing to more than $NZ1.5 billion by March 31.
Westpac’s KiwiSaver fund totalled more than $NZ866 million as at the end of March. National Australia Bank, which owns the BNZ brand in New Zealand, is the only Australian bank not represented in the KiwiSaver market.
The research also reveals five of the six default KiwiSaver providers (AMP, Tower, AXA, OnePath and Mercer) have struggled to retain members automatically enrolled in their respective schemes. According to the figures, the five default schemes lost between about $NZ280 million to $NZ420 million each in net transfers to other KiwiSaver providers. ASB was the only default scheme to buck the trend.
The research, which measured 42 providers across a range of metrics, also found the now defunct Huljich scheme was the most expensive provider, recording a cost ratio of 3.3 per cent.
Another of the more expensive schemes, Fisher Funds, reported the highest return on investments for the period, indicating an average return of 13.7 per cent before fees, expenses and tax.
Fisher absorbed most of the Huljich members in a takeover deal this May.
A full copy of the KiwiSaver research is available for download here.
As at September this year, KiwiSaver total funds under management had grown to about $NZ11 billion with 1.8 million members.
Last month the incumbent National Party announced plans to auto-enroll all employees into KiwiSaver if they were not already members. However, that move, scheduled for 2014 at the earliest, would be dependent on a budget surplus.
Meanwhile, the opposition Labour Party said it would make KiwiSaver compulsory if it were voted to power in the November 26 general election.