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Bank profits back over $3 billion while economy stagnates

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Combined bank after-tax profits soared to $3.3 billion last year, a figure that FIRST Union Finance Secretary Andrew Casidy describes as problematic in an otherwise sluggish economy.

“Why is it that bank profits increase by 20% in a year, when many other industries, not to mention ordinary families, continue to struggle?” asked Andrew Casidy.

“Most customers want to see a better behaved banking sector which directly supports the New Zealand economy through good wage rises for staff and more not less, jobs in the sector.  The banks are doing little to help on these fronts.”

“Our banks are well placed to make a better contribution to the NZ economy and community,” said Casidy. “Investing in New Zealand jobs and reducing pressure on staff to sell and customers to buy would be very welcome moves from these most profitable companies.”

“Our challenge to this three billion dollar sector is to step up and play a more positive leadership role in the New Zealand economy. These profits mean that banks can maintain or lower interest rates and start providing more direct support to the communities in which they operate.”

The level of profits will also be noted by FIRST Union members bargaining with ANZ National and Westpac later this year.

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