Australian banks have been ranked the most profitable in the world for the second consecutive year.
A report from the independent Bank of International Settlements says Australia's big four banks are leading other developed countries in profit.
The report shows Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ and National Australia Bank posted pre-tax profits equal to 1.2% of their assets last year.
Canada was second with profits equal to around 1%, while Italy was last with losses equal to 1.2% of total assets.
The research shows Australian banks have benefited from higher interest margins and lower operating costs than most of their peers.