Big Year for Big Three

The last year has produced bumper profits for the big banks, with recent announcements of $465 million after tax profit for Westpac in New Zealand, $683 million for the BNZ, and $822 million for ANZ/National.

These profit announcements represent massive improvements on the previous year (between nine and fifteen percent increases) and indicates that the banks are in a good position to reward staff with further pay increases.

“The past twelve months have seen some good wage increases for bank staff,” said Andrew Campbell, Finsec Campaigns Director. “These increases have not damaged the banks’ healthy bottom lines, and in fact there is still a great deal of capacity to invest in bank staff further. We are concerned that some staff in banks are still paid as little as $14.50 per hour.”

Finsec remains concerned that these profits have been driven by heavier debt burdens being carried by bank customers. Campbell says that bank staff have reported significant additional pressure over the past twelve months in relation to their lending targets. He says that this approach to increasing profit is detrimental to bank workers and customers.

“Finsec argues that employers in the finance industry should live up to their corporate social responsibility and invest more of their profit in New Zealand workers and their communities and look at ways it can return some of that profit to its’ customers,” said Campbell.

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