13 Nov 2009

Bankers' Association critical of inquiry

3:08 pm on 13 November 2009

Claims that banks have pocketed $2 billion by failing to pass on interest rate reductions are nonsense, the Bankers' Association says.

Major banks in New Zealand were criticised in a recent report arising from an inquiry led by opposition political parties for not passing on reductions in the Official Cash Rate.

Bankers Association chief executive Sarah Mehrtens says the combined profits of the four largest banks in 2009 was $1.5 billion, so the claim of them pocketing $2 billion "can't be right".

Ms Mehrtens says the Reserve Bank's financial stability report, released on Wednesday, showed that bank profits have fallen.

She says the findings of the inquiry are in direct conflict with the facts and the association does not accept them as accurate or valid.

Ms Mehrtens says the findings also do not reflect the support the banks have given to New Zealand's economic stability and recovery.