Investors 'sad' at end of ANZ's Bonus Bonds scheme

The announcement that ANZ is winding up its Bonus Bonds scheme has drawn a range of reactions from New Zealanders, but for those who often buy them as presents, they say it's left them feeling sad.

ANZ said earlier on Wednesday its scheme was coming to an end after five decades of operating. The $3 billion fund has since stopped accepting new investments, which will now be used to pay out bond holders.

Bond-holders in Auckland Newshub spoke to had mixed feelings about the scheme coming to an end.

"I'm a bit sad about that, but it's probably had its day," one said.

"Doesn't worry me much, never produced much money anyway," another said.

"I give them to my grandchildren for their birthdays, have done for 15 years," a third said.

Bonus Bonds began as government-backed bonds issued by the post office. For every dollar invested in the scheme, the bond holder had an entry into the monthly $1 million prize pool.

But continued low interest rates have spelled bad news for Bonus Bonds, Shareholders Association founder Bruce Sheppard says.

"As interest rates have fallen, there is less money in the pool to pay prizes and therefore people are getting less envelopes in the mail," he says.

The prize pool had shrunk so significantly that 2019 analysis gave each dollar a one-in-3.4 billion chance of winning the million dollar prize.

ANZ managing director Ben Kelleher says times have changed for Bonus Bonds.

"It was a great product in it's time, and now things have moved on."