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John Passant

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June 2012



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Australia’s big 4 banks are the biggest bastards in the world

Now it may surprise you, but Australia’s big four banks are bastards. The ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac have been ripping customers off for years. In fact they are the global champions at fleecing us.

You don’t have to just take my word for it. Or rely on your own gut feeling that bankers couldn’t give a toss about you but do care about their profits.

The Bank of International Settlements has confirmed what we all thought – Australian banks are the biggest bastards in the world. Again.

The Bank of International Settlements is the bank of the reserve banks of the world.

In their recently released 82nd Annual Report, in chapter VI called Post-crisis evolution of the banking sector BIS has a table at page 79 on the profitability of the banks measured as a percentage of their total assets.

In 2011, the big 4 Australian banks were the most profitable in the world in terms of pre-tax income.  And just for good measure, they came in first in 2010.

The most profitable in the world.

After Austria, Spain and the US our big four banks’ net interest margins (NIMs) are the largest.

What they have also done, as well as keeping NIMs almost the same as last year despite increased competition, is cut costs dramatically. In other words they’ve cut back on staff and services.

What they also seem to have done is expand internationally, replacing along with banks from a few other countries, European and North American lenders in emerging markets.

These are the same banks of course who can’t pass on to customers the full RBA cut in interest rates because of their precarious international position and the increased cost of borrowing. Hmmm, what word best describes this? Bullshit springs to mind.

Here’s what KPMG said in its Major Australian Banks: Year End 2011 Report. ‘The majors’ statutory profit before tax of $31.1 bn in 2011 was up 12 percent from the 2010 result of $28.5 bn.’  They go on to say that ‘return on equity for the year was 16.7% compared to 15.9% in 2010…’ 

Only the mining industry has a better return on equity. You now, the mining industry which is about to have a mini-me Resource Rent Tax imposed on it to tax economic rent. 

The Labor Government beat the banks with a wet lettuce for failing to pass on the full RBA rates cuts.

Instead why not tax their super profits and redistribute some their profit to the working class in the form of better social services like health and education, increases in Newstart and tax cuts for workers?

And, given you can’t trust the banks, something their actions have shown, how about regulating their interest rates and other offerings? Price controls over interest rates looks like a good start.



Comment from Chris
Time June 26, 2012 at 8:47 am

It always surprises me that the banks get vilified for making big profits and then on the other hand the general public are invested in them through their superannuation and reap the benefits of those profits.
We also seem to be proud of the fact that our banks are granted the highest credit ratings by the agencies and are “safe”.
You can’t have it both ways.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time June 26, 2012 at 8:50 am

Yes, it’s been well known that bankers are money hungry, anti-social mongrels since Jesus turned the tables on the money lenders when he caught them plying their evil trade in his temple on the Sabbath Day.

I would argue, however, that UN bankers are even worse than The Big 4 (but perhaps they have some interest there as well) .

We now have the International Monetary Fund aiding and abetting bankers/insurers (is there a difference?) in ripping us off, and then taking our money for “global purposes”.

Most of these organisations have the following prefixes and suffixes as part or the whole of their names:

i, me, my, mi, you, your.

I have tried contacting 2 of these organisations and asking them who their backers are, with absolutely no response.

They get back a percentage of the insurance money, trailing fees etc that you have paid and pocket 50% of the refund themselves.

This bumps up the price that local bankers/insurers are charging you, so you are paying extra money indirectly to the UN.

There are many other financial arrangements in place which deliver the money of individual Australians to UN bankers e.g. proceeds of tollways.

I think we also need to beware government agendas, agencies and policy names which use the same “individual” prefixes and suffixes to make us all responsible for our own fate e.g.


to name just a few.

These prefixes and suffixes are about a diminution of access to services combined with an increase in costs, which will be played out to a greater extent in the coming years.

I’m sure the plan is to allow bankers to take over every possible service, including health and education.

Suncorp Bank, which used to be the SGIO (State Government Insurance Office) has already announced a plan to build private hospitals in all of Australia’s major cities, mostly catering for elderly cancer patients. A spokesman said costs will be reflected by demand.

In the future, if you cannot afford medical treatment, you will be left to die in the streets.

Compulsory superannuation contributions have provided a massive amount of money to enable bankers to empower themselves, while ripping everyone off.

There is now a push on to immediately increase the Retirement Age to 70. As we know, super contributions are rising to 12% over 6 years, and employers (bankers?) are now calling on the government to deduct them from workers’ wages.

It would take me all day to expound upon what I have deduced over time.

Here’s another interesting fact: Banks used to have to pay Centrelink deeming rates of interest on their pensioners’ deeming accounts.

The last time I checked, a Deeming Account with one of The Big 4 banks was paying only 0.25% and had been sneaked down very slowly.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time June 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm

I guess Chris hasn’t heard about a possible plan to:

. tax superannuation at a higher level

. stop people from taking an early retirement (before age 70)

. make those who cannot find work live off reverse mortgages on their homes.

Yes, the profits made by banks may be safe, but who says they intend to keep on sharing the proceeds of investments made using OUR money.

Comment from Ross
Time June 26, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Private banks should only be allowed to loan out money that already exists.They shold no be allowed to own our productivty + inflation by creating from nothing the money to equal it.This is the role of sovereign Govts elected by the people.

When the big collapse happens,many of these banks will be nationalised since there is not enough money on the planet to bail them out.Either we nationalise them or billions of people will starve.

Comment from Howard Marosi
Time June 27, 2012 at 12:57 am

Governments protect private banks by guaranteeing depositors` funds. So, Governments should withdraw the guarantees, and set up their own banks, with guarantees for deposits in those.

Then just sit back and watch the run on private banks.
Governments also assist the banks by borrowing from them, and allowing them to charge whatever interest rate they want, and apparently to vary those rates. So, Governments should stop borrowing from them, and obtain finance from deposits in their own banks, from Government bonds, and from creating their own credit.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time June 27, 2012 at 10:31 am

That’s right, Howard. Bob Hawke sold off the people’s bank in the 1980s (Commonwealth Bank). He is just one of the Labor PMs who are lucky they weren’t executed for treason.

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