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ANZ mega profit puts shareholders before kiwis

For immediate release
Thursday 23 October 2008

ANZ National mega profit ($1.163 billion) puts shareholders before New Zealanders

Bank workers’ union Finsec says ANZ National’s billion dollar plus profit announced today is excessive in the current economic environment and favours shareholders over customers, staff and the local economy.

“ANZ National’s profit is produced on the back of high interest rates, jobs being offshored to India, the lowest real annual pay settlement for staff in years, excessive sales targets that push unnecessary debt upon customers, and company tax cuts. Shareholders are getting a great deal at the expense of New Zealanders,” said Andrew Campbell, Finsec Campaigns Director.

“The bank is sending around 500 good New Zealand jobs to India and cutting staff numbers in ANZ branches. This coupled with sending their massive profits offshore is actually adding to New Zealand’s economic woes and is bad corporate citizenry,” said Campbell.

Campbell said the large increase in provisions for bad debt pointed to issues with sales targets and customers not being able to meet their debt burden.

“In the current environment most bank customers can ill afford to increase their debt levels and pay high interest rates. ANZ National is acting like the recession and credit crisis isn’t happening by maintaining targets for staff at levels comparable to twelve months ago,” said Campbell.

Campbell said that New Zealand’s big banks need to seriously rethink their pre-crisis selling methods, and suspend or significantly reduce their system of sales targets.

“ANZ National’s profit is further evidence that any underwriting of the banks’ wholesale borrowing needs to come with fair lending and other conditions attached. At the same time they are sending big profits overseas they cut staff, take tax payer funded tax cuts and then expect the tax payer to give them a blank cheque to underwrite their business,” said Campbell.


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