Banks pay huge dividends despite recession

Finsec called on the government to toughen its oversight of owned banks in light of revelations that shows the banks paid dividends to their parent companies in 2009 that were more than double what they earned. In the financial year end 2009 the combined profits of the Australian owned banks was $790 million but they paid out over $1.7 billion in dividends or 222.8% of their profits.

“In a year in which bank staff were made redundant, jobs were sent offshore, mortgagee sales rose, some staff had their wages frozen, branches were closed and all the banks received tax payer support through the government guarantee schemes it is totally galling to see this huge amount of money being shipped back to shareholders,” said Finsec spokesperson Andrew Campbell.

“It is clear in our view that the banks have done much to protect their shareholders from the recession while doing nowhere near enough to assist getting the New Zealand economy back into growth by doing such things as keeping people in jobs and paying wage increases to all staff,” said Campbell.

Check out some media coverage of the Finsec announcement at the links below:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/3218862/Banks-send-vast-sums-in-dividends-over-the-ditch
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/stories/2010/01/10/1247ebec63fd

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