Big four profits now equal size of a small country

The combined profits of the major Australian banks now roughly equals the size of a small (wealthy) country



Following CBA's record profit announcement early last week, ANZ has reported an unaudited cash profit for the three months to December 31, 2012, of $1.53 billion - up 6.2% on the same period in 2011.

The value of the major banks has reportedly risen by more than $90 billion in the past year, to a combined value of $340 billion (a value worth more than Singapore's entire economy), yet they continue to refuse to pass on interest rate cuts in full.

ANZ's CEO, Mike Smith, says he believes ANZ has produced a ‘solid’ business performance consistent with expectations provided at the time of the 2012 full year results and says positive share outcomes in retail deposits and mortgages helped boost the bank’s bottom line.

#pb# The lender's market share increased in key sectors including traditional and affluent banking and household mortgages and deposits and lending average assets increased 7.6%.

“Initiatives to manage costs and margins helped to sustain a good performance in the Australia Division…In international and institutional banking, expenses were well controlled, however margins remain under pressure, albeit less so than in 2012, while favourable trading conditions and increased customer volumes saw a strong performance in global markets. The environment for Wealth remains subdued and we continue to manage costs while pacing investment in transforming the business.”

ANZ's figures represent the latest, following CBA's record $3.78 billion profit announcement last week, as well as NAB's $1.45 billion.

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