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$2.8 billion in bank profits – what’s in it for New Zealand?

Date of Release: 
Friday, February 10, 2012

The union representing bank workers says New Zealanders need to start questioning whether our country is getting any benefit from huge annual leaps in bank profits.

The Price Waterhouse Coopers report on banks performance shows that the five major banks’ earnings rose by half a billion to $2.8 billion for the first half of 2011.

“Staff at the big banks know that the banks are not using these profits to invest in New Zealand.  Staffing levels are at best static and many of our members are chronically over worked and stressed,” said FIRST Union National Organiser Bella Pardoe.

“The billions the banks make are not going into creating jobs to improve customer service.”

“Wage increases in the big banks are barely keeping up with inflation. CEO pay might go up, but big profits are not being shared with the staff who work to make the banks successful.”

Bella Pardoe said customers are also not benefiting from the banks’ success.

“Net interest rate margins have increased by 23% since 2007. Customers are paying more than they should have to, to keep inflating these profit levels.”

“Big bank profits are seen as a good news story. CEOs with multi million dollar salaries and Aussie shareholders are cashing in. But where is the good news for New Zealand staff, customers, and communities?” asked Pardoe.

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