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Frozen funds to stay in Rudd's freezer.

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Wed, 12th August 2009


Senator the Hon Helen Coonan

Shadow Minister for Finance, Competition Policy and Deregulation

250,000 Australian investors are no closer to accessing their frozen assets after the Rudd Government’s refusal

today to canvass any plans to unwind their poorly designed and rushed bank deposit guarantee, Shadow

Finance Minister Helen Coonan said.

“The bank deposit guarantee triggered a flood of withdrawals by investors in non-guaranteed institutions, causing

numerous mortgage and property funds to freeze their accounts last October,” Senator Coonan said.

“A quarter of a million Australians, many of whom are self-funded retirees and pensioners, have had only limited

access to their funds for the last 11 months.”

Representing the Treasurer, Senator Nick Sherry dodged questions from Senator Coonan about any plans to

intervene to assist the victims of the lockdown of investment funds, amid growing calls from financial groups,

such as Investment and Financial Services Association, to wind back the bank guarantee.

“The Rudd Government’s bank guarantee has brought many unintended consequences, excluded investment

funds and triggered the lockdown of deposits, leaving hundreds of thousands of Australians in the lurch.

“It is high time the Government stepped in to either wind back the bank deposit guarantee or provide liquidity to

enable non banks to resume normal practice.

“It is disgraceful that the Treasurer has left so many Australian pensioners and retirees high and dry and their

financial plans in chaos,” Senator Coonan said.