The bank workers union Finsec wants tougher regulation of banks. It says dividends paid to their parent companies, are "unacceptably huge".
Finsec says the combined profit of Australian-owned banks in the last financial year was $790 million and dividends were more than $1.7 billion.
The union says that is more than 200% of their profits. It says the dividends are "not acceptable" when New Zealand has just come through a recession.
It says a "huge" amount of money is being shipped back to shareholders while banks continue to make staff redundant and mortgagee sales rise.
It says the banks also receive tax payer support through the Government's deposit guarantees.
Finsec says regulation of the banks should include social responsibility and national interest measures.