General Questions

Who is General Finance Limited (“General Finance”) and what services does it offer as a non-bank deposit taker in New Zealand?

General Finance is a non-bank deposit taker, licensed by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ). General Finance takes deposits (secured term deposits) from the public and it lends these funds to borrowers secured by a first registered mortgage(s) over the property.

How does a secured term deposit with General Finance work?

When you invest in a General Finance secured term deposit you deposit a specific amount of money for a fixed period at a fixed interest rate. This allows you to earn a stable return over the agreed period.

Does General Finance have a credit rating and if so, what is it?

Yes, General Finance has a credit rating of BB with a stable outlook, as provided by international NYSE listed company Equifax Australasia Credit Ratings Pty Ltd (“Equifax”). This rating reflects the assessment of the company’s creditworthiness and stability.

Can I withdraw my funds before the maturity date with General Finance?

No. The contract is fixed term. There is no ability to redeem before the maturity of your secured term deposit. You can only request an early repayment of your money in circumstances where you are facing significant financial hardship. We are under no obligation to repay secured term deposits early. Any decision to repay early is solely at our discretion. Please refer to page 9 of our Product Disclosure Statement for more information.

How does General Finance notify customers about the maturity date of their term deposits?

General Finance sends notifications to customers one month before the maturity date. This communication allows customers to make informed decisions about renewing, withdrawing, or reinvesting their funds.

Are there any additional benefits for customers with multiple term deposits at General Finance?

General Finance offers benefits for customers with multiple term deposits, such as preferential interest rates or additional benefits. You should contact us and ask about any special offers for multiple deposits when you are thinking about your next deposit or reinvestment.

What is the minimum and maximum investment amount for a term deposit with General Finance?

General Finance has a minimum of $2,000 per investment for term deposits. There is no maximum subject to our approval.

How is the interest rate on term deposits at General Finance determined?

The interest rate on term deposits with General Finance is based on various factors, including market conditions and the company’s policies. It’s fixed at the time of opening the deposit and remains constant throughout the agreed term.

How does General Finance ensure the security of term deposits?

  • General Finance is a non-bank deposit taker, licensed by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ). We are also subject to the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 which requires us to have a trust deed and be supervised by an independent Trustee.
  • The trust deed contains requirements designed to ensure the affairs of General Finance are managed prudently, and often include provisions relating to maximum exposure concentration, minimum capital, and liquidity requirements.
  • Trust deeds provide protection to depositors and investors, whereby the Trustee supervises General Finance’s compliance with the terms of the trust deed on behalf of depositors and investors and has the capacity to take action where those terms are breached or threaten to be breached.

Is there a difference between fixed and variable term deposit rates at General Finance?

General Finance only offers secured term deposits. We do not offer variable term deposits.

What happens if General Finance faces financial difficulties during the term of my deposit?

Secured term deposits are subject to supervision by the Trustee under the trust deed who would work with General Finance to address any financial difficulties on behalf of depositors and investors. There is also a security over the whole of General Finance’s assets, including cash, loans, fixed assets, and other sundry assets. This further protects the investors.

All investors should review the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision.

General Finance has a credit rating of BB with a stable outlook provided by Equifax and is defined as being near prime with low to moderate risk.

Investors should consider this investment against other similar investments and consider which is best for them. We recommend any similar investments are licensed by the RBNZ and that they have a credit rating.

Can I receive the interest earned from my term deposit with General Finance at regular intervals, or is it paid only at maturity?

General Finance offers the option to receive interest payouts at regular intervals, e.g. monthly, quarterly, etc. This will provide a steady income stream rather than waiting for a lump sum at maturity. Check with us for specific interest payout options.

Are there any loyalty or reward programs for long-term customers with General Finance?

Yes. General Finance does offer bonus interest rates for long-term customers. Enquire with General Finance about this benefit. Also, if you are a shareholder of General Capital Limited, the NZX-listed company that owns General Finance, you are entitled to a bonus on your interest rate.

Can I open a term deposit with General Finance online, and what documents are required?

Yes. General Finance Limited offers fillable application forms download option, you can download the form then complete it and send it back to us by email.

Click here https://generalfinance.co.nz/GeneralFinancePDS.pdf

How does General Finance communicate changes to its terms and conditions to customers?

  • The website is always up to date. You can check it anytime.
  • We send regular updates to you
  • We are always available to talk during business hours.

Does General Finance offer any ethical or sustainable investment options for term deposits?

No. Ethical or sustainable investing is becoming more popular. Check with General Finance to see if they offer any term deposit options aligned with ethical or sustainable investment principles in the future.

How can I track the performance of my term deposit with General Finance Limited?

General Finance will provide periodic payment advice, or compound interest advice will be sent to you by the registry (Computershare).

Are there any penalties or fees associated with closing a term deposit account before maturity with General Finance?

Yes. While premature withdrawals may be allowed under certain conditions, General Finance will impose break fees.

How often does General Finance review and adjust its interest rates on term deposits?

  • Interest rates can be subject to change based on market conditions. This is normally associated with an economic event e.g. an interest rate review by the RBNZ or a budget announcement etc.
  • All deposits that have commenced will remain at their current rates. Interest rates may change for new investments.

Can I buy shares in General Finance?

No. You can buy shares in General Capital which is listed on the NZX and is the owner of General Finance. If you do buy shares in General Capital please let us know and we can offer you the higher rate at the start of your next investment.

How can I buy shares in General Capital?

You can buy through any Investment Adviser who offers you the service or through Sharesies etc.

Contact us if you would like a referral.

Any Other matters I should be thinking about?

Yes. Make sure you understand the investment you are making. Make sure you are clear about who is involved and what the funds are being used for.

This is your money. You should understand the business you are putting the funds into.

Isn’t it easier to just go for the best rate?

No. Make sure you get a good rate but rates are always an indicator of risk. The highest rate will generally have the highest risk. Be careful. Think about the investment.

Will General Finance be included in the Depositor Compensation Scheme once it is implemented?

Yes. General Finance, as a non-bank deposit taker licensed by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, will be included in the scheme once it is implemented.

I heard the Government will be guaranteeing deposits. What is the plan and where do I go for more information on this?

  • The Deposit Takers Act 2023 (the Act) received Royal Assent on 6 July 2023. The Act modernises the regulatory framework to help ensure the safety and soundness of deposit takers.
  • Instead of a government guarantee, the Act will establish a new Depositor Compensation Scheme (DCS) to protect up to $100,000 per depositor per deposit taker in the event of a failure. These deposits must be held with a bank, building society, credit union or finance company registered or licensed in New Zealand.
  • The DCS is planned to come into effect from mid-2025.
  • For more details and the latest information on the Depositor Compensation Scheme, please click here https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/education/explainers/dcs#PxQac78aHk61bvecDNpjg

Equifax has affirmed the credit rating of General Finance Limited as BB with a Stable Outlook