5 Oct 2012

Greens critical of banks over profits

8:24 am on 5 October 2012

The Green Party is critical of Australian-owned banks in New Zealand for making bigger profits in the four years after the global financial crisis than they did before.

It has issued figures prepared by the Parliamentary library, showing that ANZ, BNZ, ASB and Westpac combined made net profits before tax of $14.421 billion from 2008 - 2011.

That's an increase of $14.08 million on the previous four years.

By comparison, the before tax profits of all industries fell nearly 15% from 2008 to 2011.

Greens co-leader Russel Norman says that's not good for the economy as the banks' profits go overseas.

But Bankers Association chief executive Kirk Hope says the banks contributed $6 billion to the economy last year. He also rejected claims that the banking industry is not competitive enough.

Mr Hope said it is important to have a profitable banking sector because to have the opposite is to have banks requiring bailouts.