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Tim Dower: Banks are a nice, big, slow-moving target, so it's easy to throw mud and have some of it stick

Author
Tim Dower,
Publish Date
Fri, 3 Mar 2023, 8:36am
Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Tim Dower: Banks are a nice, big, slow-moving target, so it's easy to throw mud and have some of it stick

Author
Tim Dower,
Publish Date
Fri, 3 Mar 2023, 8:36am

The Banks.

They're a nice, big, slow moving target, so it's pretty easy to throw mud and have at least some of it stick.

Right now, with higher interest rates and more importantly fat margins between what they pay us for our deposits, and what we pay them for our mortgages. The sun is shining for the Banks and they're making' hay.

And the numbers are pretty big. Westpac's most recent result was $1.16 billion for the year, up 12 percent.

ANZ was at $2.3 billion and increased of 20, yeah 20, percent.

You're probably aware from what we've heard his past few days, that if you shop around you don't have to pay the published mortgage rate.

If you tell them such and such bank down the road is offering a fraction less, you'll be surprised how quickly they'll drop their pants.

Same too, by the way, with term deposits.  

Rather than just let those roll over, you simply have to ask and they'll grudgingly give you a little more.  Not much, but it's the principle of the thing.

So are the banks being greedy. Well, yes, of course they are. That's their job.  

I jokingly said to one bank manager a while back, 'hey...I'm in a bank...I expect to get robbed'.  He was affable enough to see the joke.

Would a ComCom investigation do anything to make us feel better about the Banks or do anything to reduce the profits they make?

I doubt it. Have ComCom probes made any real difference at the supermarkets, at the gas station, with the power retailers? No.

If the Government feels the urge to do something useful maybe it could impose a few rules around their social license.

Things that actually drive us mad day to day like how long they take to answer the phone, or deal with an email, or even - how's this for radical - like obliging the banks to actually have branches people can go into. 

The bottom line is - I don't mind paying for a service if I'm actually getting a service.  

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