24 October 2008

Do NZ Banks Need a State Guarantee?

Taken from Lost Soul:

ANZ National Bank, the country's biggest bank, reported a profit of NZ$1.16b after tax for the year to 30 September 2008 (, down only slightly from the year before.

Westpac NZ reported a profit of NZ$462m, up from NZ$348m, for the 9 months to September 2008 ($FILE/KIS+NZ+Jun+2008.pdf).

BNZ reported a profit of NZ$657m for the same period, up 9% from the year before ( reported a profit of NZ$515m, down slightly from the previous year, for the year to 30th June (

That's 90% of the NZ banking sector covered by those figures.Sound like business as usual? Pretty much. But, if you believe the hype, there is such a financial crisis going on that these big banks can't get by without a Crown guarantee of their deposits and other liabilities.

The Australian parents of the NZ four, the so called four pillars of the Australian banking also remain profitable, the odd hiccup not wiping out profits let alone capital.

While the banks and their creditors have been told they are expected to weather adversity without government assistance, now they are being given assistance when they don't even need it!

During times of financial and banking stress, weaker and worse managed banks fail or are taken over by stronger ones, and funds move to higher quality banks. This is exactly what has happened during this time of financial stress, in text-book fashion, yet the authorities are crying wolf and using the stress as an excuse to regulate, intervene and interfere.

I have a message for the saviours of the financial system: stop bluffing and posturing, and use this as an example of the kind of stress financial institutions are expected to weather without government assistance

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