With all the self-flagellation about free speech these last few weeks most people seem to have missed ASB’s record net profit – $1.18 billion. (Net profit means profit AFTER the ASB has done all its dodgy dealings to limit its tax liabilities here – the real profit is much higher).
Across the big four Australian banks we are now seeing annual profits in excess of $3 billion – meaning close to $1000 per year on average sucked from every person in this country.
The banks and neo-liberal politicians would have us believe we are lucky to have such profitable banks because it reflects a stable, strong economy but this is trying to put a fig leaf on a deeply embarrassing reality.
The simple fact is these four, private, Australian-owned banks are acting as a cartel to maintain massive profits gouged from customers rather than competing to reduce the costs to those who bank with them.
They have an effective monopoly on creating credit to extend to homeowners, farmers and businesses and use a business model designed to swindle as much cash as possible for their greedy, self-entitled shareholders.
Competition between them is a joke. Changing banks is too much of a headache for any sane person to contemplate and the banks know it. Their banking practices are based on it.
It’s a wholesale rip-off. The Sopranos have nothing on these vicious thieves.
We desperately need much tighter regulation of banking in New Zealand so customers become king rather than indolent shareholders and bloated managers.
Without much better regulation when the next crash comes these same parasites will demand New Zealanders taxpayers bail them out – and both Labour and National will do so because we will be told they are “too big to fail”.
Remember the 2010 bailout of the wealthy shareholders in South Canterbury Finance? – $1.7 billion from the taxpayer pockets to the pockets of the rich.
The same will happen again and again until we have these banks under control.