Banks on Balance: Could be Better

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In advance of Better Banks meetings throughout the country, Finsec is saying that banks in New Zealand need to improve the way they do business. “For too long banks have been behaving in a way that has not been in the interests of staff, customers or the New Zealand economy,” said Acting President Kelvin Pycroft.

Net profit after tax for registered banks has more than trebled in the last decade, and increased by 7% between 2005 and 2006 to reach $3.199 billion.

Bank profits have been driven up by increased workload pressures on staff. Operating income per staff member has doubled over the last decade – in BNZ, for example the average operating income per staff member was $171,000 in 1996 and was $353,000 in 2006.

Staffing levels have not kept up with the huge increase in workload – in fact, staff numbers in the three major banks have decreased by over 20% in the last decade. Nearly 400 staffing positions were lost from the big banks in 2006 alone. Fewer staff are struggling to keep up with more and more work.

Kelvin Pycroft said the answer is Better Banks and encouraged Finsec members to attend one of the meetings to kick start the campaign, to be held throughout the country in February and March. A full schedule of meetings has been distributed to all sites, or can be accessed at www.finsec.org.nz

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