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ANZ Bank clearly believes that greed is good

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, October 29th, 2021 - 131 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, Economy, Financial markets, housing - Tags:

There is a famous scene from the movie Wall Street where Michael Douglas, playing merchant wanker Gordon Gekko utters the unforgettable phrase greed is good.

Clearly the executives of ANZ Bank believe in this mantra.  The Bank has  just announced a $1.92 billion profit for the year to September 30, 2021.  This is about 1% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

From Tamsyn Parker at the Herald:

ANZ New Zealand has seen a 44 per cent increase in its profit rising to hit $1.92 billion for the year to September 30.

The country’s largest bank saw its cash net profit rise 39 per cent to $1.907 billion compared to the previous year.

ANZ New Zealand chief executive Antonia Watson said the results reflected record demand in the housing market, a stronger-than-expected economy and a significant reduction in provisions the bank put aside last year.

The profit is clearly related to surging house prices and the lending to kiwis of more and more money to buy the same houses off each other.

If ever there was an argument for urgent and fundamental changes to our banking system this must be it.


131 comments on “ANZ Bank clearly believes that greed is good ”

  1. Ngungukai 1

    Shame our Government didn't hold onto the Bank of New Zealand, that sale was poorly executed and backfired on the NZ Taxpayer who pulled them out of the shit, after it went into Receivership in Private Ownership.

    • Tricledrown 1.1

      It's not such a bad idea to privatise banks so long as there is competition.

      The banking inquiry in Australia uncovered dodgy banking practices which have stopped in Australia but continue in NZ even though they are the same banks.

      The govt needs to follow Australia's banking inquiry changes .

      No tax is paid by these big 4 in NZ.

      So the Australian govt gets a windfall of $1.5 billion while we get more debt and higher house prices.

      • thebiggestfish7 1.1.1

        I think you will actually find the ANZ is one of NZ's biggest corporate taxpayers, along with the other big Aussie owned banks (see below).

        Would love to see more of the banking world profits in the hand of kiwis rather than overseas shareholders…..perhaps Kiwi's need to move with their feet and switch their personal and business accounts to Kiwibank, TSB or one of the many smaller Kiwi owned banks available.

        2021-FY-new-zealand-full-year-results (anz.com)

        Good times at New Zealand’s third largest taxpayer | The Spinoff

      • Phil 1.1.2

        No tax is paid by these big 4 in NZ.

        Totally false. ANZ haven't released their full disclosure statement for the year to September 2021 yet, but in the six months to March 2021: $1,309m pre tax profit, $362m income tax expense. That comes to a tax rate of 27.6%… which is exactly what the corporate tax rate stands at (there are also minor year-to-year deferred tax assets/liabilities and other adjustments to take into account).

        The banking inquiry in Australia uncovered dodgy banking practices which have stopped in Australia but continue in NZ even though they are the same banks.

        The RBNZ and FMA undertook extensive investigations into NZ banks, and on both sides of the Tasman major remediation work is in the process of being completed by banks to improve customer conduct. There are literally hundreds of pages of reporting on this work that you can find with the most basic of google-competence.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          A desk study not a real investigation with evidence from customers and others.

          They need a real market study like the supermarkets are going through

        • Tricledrown

          27.6 % tax is paid in Australia due to CER agreement.

          As for the FMA etc the NZ branches are not following the same rules as laid bare in the SEC banking enquiry.

          Over selling mortgages double insurance on mortgages the list goes on.

          • Phil

            WTF are you talking about?

            All 4 major banks in NZ are locally incorporated subsidiaries of their australian parents. Meaning (among other things) they are required to hold capital in the NZ business, be governed by an NZ-based board and management team, and comply with NZ law. They all pay taxes to the new zealand government on the profit made in NZ.

    • Enough is Enough 1.2

      Let me introduce you to Kiwibank

      • tc 1.2.1

        Yup nothing stops the govt from using it to offer an alternative to pillaging Ozzie banks except the political will to do so.

        That and all those shares they probably hold…

        • Phil

          nothing stops the govt from using it [Kiwibank] to offer an alternative to pillaging Ozzie banks except the political will to do so.

          Kiwibank was never structured to be a genuine competitor to the big-4 banks. On one hand it simply doesn't have the commercial expertise to compete with the big-4 in the business/institutional space.

          …and on the other hand, a couple of years back, Kiwibank wrote off $100m trying to upgrade their core banking systems. Pretty much every IT contractor in the country spent some time working on that project and it was a big enough disaster that the CEO resigned. Without a better suite of IT systems, there's just not the technical capacity to run a large-sized bank.

      • Peter 1 1.2.2

        Have you ever used Kiwi bank they are bloody useless they can not decide whether they are a bank or post office long queues. Had friend who withdrew his private pension from the ASB to build a house the builder said he wanted progress payments

        Kiwi bank said they could not pay out until the house house was finished and signed off, moved his money back to the ASB problem fixed.

  2. Gezza 2

    As far as I can make out from discussions on Ozzer banks all these bastards are creaming it in NZ in ways – & to levels – they're not allowed to in Oz? If this is so, why is this allowed & why haven't our governments stepped in to restrict or limit their pillaging?

    • garibaldi 2.1

      They only rip us off because they can. Support NZ Banks; only make sure it is NZ owned.
      I am intrigued to know just what % of NZers know the ownership of their Bank.

    • tc 2.2

      Nah it's a different type of pillage over there. Scumo and joshy have appointed an ex banker to 'implement' the royal commission findings.

      The whitewash is on.

    • Patricia Bremner 2.3

      ANZ and ASB owe refunds to 150000 people. They took fees and made charges which were incorrect, and made little effort to change things, so a court case.

      They are sharklike.

  3. Ad 3

    The Kiwibank alternative just hasn't taken off. At little more than 4% of our market there's clearly a limit to patriotism.

    I'n not sure the lending profit increase is for existing-house churn. New Zealand is at its highest point for new builds since records began.

    • Gristld 3.1

      A prime reason why Kiwibank has got a minor share of the customers is due to the lack of capital that the bank is supplied by its shareholder (the government.). KB is limited in the amount of customers it can take on because of the amount of debt it can carry. The Reserve Bank has prescribed all sorts of ratios that need to achieved in order to maintain their banking "licence."

      No doubt Treasury has argued for this limited capitalisation to be the case. I mean you can't have government entities successfully competing with the private industries.

    • infused 3.2

      Because it's a shit bank.

      It's like shopping at kmart.

  4. mikesh 4

    As they say, it takes two to tango. The bank is making huge profits because people are borrowing lots of money.

    • riffer 4.1

      mikesh is spot on here. The banks will argue that their ROI hasn't increased, although the truth is just as bad. They have allowed the cost of housing to increase more and more and more. It is, as mickeysavage has commented, a reflection of the cost of housing. A 5% return on $50 billion is always going to be more than a 5% return on $5 billion.

      The market value of my house, which was three times more than I paid for it 18 years ago in 2018, has now doubled from that in just the last three years.

      • Blazer 4.1.1

        How do they calculate their R.O.I,given when they make a mortgage loan ,they are digitally creating 'money'?

      • lprent 4.1.2

        .. more than I paid for it 18 years ago in 2018..

        Time has gotten away on me again. How is it that I am in 2036?

        Oh – you brought in 2008!

        My apartment that I brought off the plans in 1998 – 23 years ago. Well it has only risen a mere ~375%. My partners apartment purchased in 2017 in the same block has only risen by about 40%.

        Being an apartments they have virtually no land area. This is reflected in their low rateable values and the stability of the rates over time. Over the last 23 years my rates have only moved upwards by about 20%, which around central Auckland is frigging amazing. That is because much of the rateable value is based on land prices and this is the rateable analysis;

        On 1 July 2017, […] had a Rating Valuation with a Capital Value of $450,000, Land Value of $115,000 and Improvement Value of $335,000.

        The reality is that those values were conservative then, and the apartments in the block are selling for $170k above that now. If you have a look at your own rateable value breakdowns, you'll find the same thing – but probably with the values reversed for a house. The house itself isn't worth nearly as much as the land.

        Land also shows up in the property sale values. So if you have a property sitting in a largish land area, especially if it is in a sub-dividable or able to be rebuilt as medium density housing on decent transport routes and/or close to employment then your property price is rising almost directly in relation to the land value in Auckland.

        Urban land prices are rising like crazy in Auckland so the houses can be knocked down and shifted to medium density housing. Auckland retirement population with large land areas are spilling out of Auckland to escape rates. New home buyers are escaping out of Auckland to find a property that they can afford – even at lower wages.

        That is because the available land for greenfield development in Auckland is so far away that most commuters are getting several hours taken out of their day to live there (if they are lucky) with a massive cost in transport costs or they are taking pissant wages at a local job. I've seen both happen to people I have worked with recently.

        Plus of course existing Auckland ratepayers and utility customers really aren't interested in subsidising property developers any more for the majority of their infrastructure costs to develop the land – water, sewerage, electricity, local roads, data and communications, connections to the state highways are steadily being shifted to upfront costs. It makes greenfield developments 30-40km away from me far more expensive (and keeps my running costs down).

        Land values have been rising in Auckland because since 1998 when I brought my apartment Auckland population was less than 1.1 million in the metro area. Now it is over 1.6 million. Shoehorning half a million people into the Auckland Isthmus without a coordinated building program really didn't work. Especially with the idiots from National and their ridiculously high immigration polices from 2008-2017 where more than 60% of the immigration stuck in Auckland was just crazy.

        It is noticeable that last year Auckland had its first population drop since well before I was born more than 60 years ago. It was only a nett loss of ~1300. But that is what happens when the immigration spigot is turned off. That is mostly the balance between migrants from the rest of NZ coming to Auckland vs the retired escaping..

        • James Thrace

          I read it that the house was purchased in 2000, worth three times more in 2018 (18 years) and has since doubled in the last three years since.

          It doesn't seem to be a coincidence that Shipley's National government changes to international students that took effect from 2000 correlate directly with the stonking increases in house prices since

          Those law changes provided the international students with pathways to residency. Coming to new Zealand with relatively cheap house prices saw a boom in demand as those students planned ahead to buy houses for their families to eventually join them here.

          Successive failures by Clark and Key to not plan for the corresponding migration boom is largely why we're at this point today.

          • roblogic

            +1 James.

          • riffer

            Exactly James. Too early in the morning and I was thinking disjointedly. I should have said, three years ago, my house was three times the value that it was when I'd bought it 15 years previously (2003). In the last three years its value has doubled from that inflated 2018 value.

            I'm in Upper Hutt. Things are mental here.

        • riffer

          Makes mental note to double check his grammar next time, in case Lynne is up early…

          • lprent

            laughI usually get up around 0630…

            It is more a question about when I finish reading the overnight mail, news and adsorb breakfast. If there is time left over before standup, then I read the site.

    • KJT 4.2

      And the Reserve bank kicking up interest rates at any hint of wage rises.

      Increasing Bank Margins.

      • Lukas 4.2.1

        Common belief that is just plain wrong. Just because interest rates go up does not mean banks make more money. Generally the margin the banks are making remains the same. On a 12 month fixed rate loan at the moment a bank is probably making 60bps, so your $800K mortgage at 3.25% where you are paying $26K in interest is making the bank $4800.

        Rinse and repeat over 30 years plus the top ups for new cars to keep up with the flash Harry friend next door and that is how you enrich banks.

        Interest rates changing will not enrich banks.

        Keeping a loan for 30 years and not paying down aggressivley when interest rates are low is what will enrich banks.

        Get good advice from people you trust.

        • KJT

          Wrong. 0.1% of 3.5% interest is more than 0.1% of 2.3%.

          The bank makes more money with higher interest rates.

          • Lukas

            You clearly don't understand how bank margins work. I work for a bank. I see the cost of funds. They work off of bps margins not % above cost of funds.

            • KJT

              "Basis points" are percentages.

              "Basis points, otherwise known as bps or "bips," are a unit of measure used in finance to describe the percentage change in the value or rate of a financial instrument. One basis point is equivalent to 0.01% (1/100th of a percent) or 0.0001 in decimal form".

              • Lukas

                See above- you clearly do not understand bank margins.

                e.g. a business loan will have a margin above cost of funds or a business base rate. Assume the base rate is 3% and the margin is 1.5%- the effective rate will be 4.5%. If the OCR moves up 50bps the base rate moves with to 3.50% and the margin of 1.50% moves on the 3.50% for an effective rate of 5.00%

                The margin is where banks make money. Moving interest rates up or down has little impact on how much money a bank will make. Banks make money via net interest margin.

                Interest Rates and Bank Profitability (stlouisfed.org) probably explains it better as it has pictures for you.

                • KJT

                  Ignoring the fact that my own bank has been putting their margins up by more than the OCR increase plus the same net percentage as previously.

                  Is that enough of a picture for you. Or do I need to draw a diagram.

                  • Lukas

                    You do realise that the OCR and central banks are not the only source of funding for banks right?

                    As above – I work in a bank. I have access to cost of funds information.

    • bwaghorn 4.3

      Yip and as the government gaurentees the mortgage payments throw rent subsidies it ain't going to change.

  5. dv 5

    That is abt $500 per adult profit.

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    If ever there was an argument for urgent and fundamental changes to our banking system this must be it.

    Obvious problem: it isn't actually an argument. It's a report of situational fact. For it to become an argument, you would have to give people good reason to change. Often that means describing a viable alternative to the status quo. You haven't.

    I have accounts with each of the kiwi banks (TSB & KB) because I share your preference for an independent economy. However, as Ad points out above, most kiwis seem to prefer co-dependence with Oz. You could argue that most of them probably never thought that far and I'd agree. Inertia rules the thinking of most sheeple.

    • cathy-o 6.1

      " Inertia rules the thinking of most sheeple."

      that may be true. but if i don’t have the time or the background to personally and independently research every single decision i make on purchases, banking, investment, the background of employment practices in countries i don’t even know are producing goods for new zealand market, does that make me a sheeple?

      if i had to know for myself the finest background detail of everything i buy i’d never get out of the supermarket.

      • Dennis Frank 6.1.1

        A valid point. Took me more years than I was comfortable with to get the hell out of ASB, due to higher priorities.

        • cathy-o

          ASB used to be one of the best until it fell to CBA

          • alwyn

            You must have a very good memory cathy.

            CBA has had a 75%+ ownership of the ASB since way back in 1989. Since it only became a full-fledged commercial bank in 1987 I'm surprised anyone would have noticed what it was like prior to the CBA involvement.

            • Phil

              ASB was a regional savings bank that first opened its doors in 1847 and operated for 140 years before it was sold to CBA.

    • cathy-o 6.2

      some facts are so stark they make an argument because they don't need explanation

    • Drowsy M. Kram 6.3

      I have accounts with each of the kiwi banks (TSB & KB) because I share your preference for an independent economy.

      Onya Dennis – me too; TSB and Cooperative are the only bank accounts I have in NZ.

      • GreenBus 6.3.1

        TSB doesn't lend to battlers. ANZ does. I couldn't loan from TSB (my local coastal bank) back then so went to ANZ in town and no problem at all. I wonder how many times that situation plays out around the regions?

      • Dennis Frank 6.3.2

        the only bank accounts I have in NZ

        Oh, you mean you have others elsewhere? Virgin Islands? Caymans? wink

        Yeah I know, not a topic for polite conversation! laugh


        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Opened a (fees-free) bank account with Lloyds when I moved to the UK in the 1980s for 3-years work. Came in handy occasionally, but less and less these days.

      • Patricia Bremner 6.3.3

        The Cooperative Bank have always assisted us on every occasion. We have been with them since 1973 through all the changes, including getting stung by BNZ"s Michael Fay and David Richwhite. We understand why they won Canstar "Most satisfied customers"

  7. higherstandard 7

    Sadly a large part of the population also believes debt is good.

    • pat 7.1

      A large part?….

      "Bolton said that there are from 200,000 to 300,000 property investors in New Zealand, and the majority of them “look like everyone else” – careful with their finances, and keen to save as much as possible."


      • Blazer 7.1.1

        What about the 450 who own over 200 properties each…the over 7000 who own over 4 properties each…and what about the 200,000 empty homes!

        Biggest ponzi scheme ever promulgated.

        • pat

          I think you miss the point…..a 'large part' of the population dont necessarily believe debt is good….a small minority (between 2 and 3 hundred thousand) are driving the level of indebtedness and the powers that be have facilitated that model for decades.

          And yes… it is a ponzi

          • pat

            The question you have to ask yourself is (in a debt based economy) which inflation/deflation is important?

            • Blazer

              I don't think I missed the 'point' at all.Boltons opinion relies on his own assumptions.

              As for debt….it is the cornerstone of Capitalism.

              And we are constantly reminded how good that is.

              Where would we be without compound interest!

        • infused

          Empty homes thing is bullshit. It could be a reno and it shows as an empty home. There's no way there's 200k empty homes lol.

    • kejo 7.2

      Oh for the 'security' of a mortgage

  8. Thomas Jefferson stomps Gordon Gekko:

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.

  9. UncookedSelachimorpha 9

    The banks make huge profits because our political consensus (and law) allows them to do so. To expect bank executives to voluntarily behave in a socially responsible way is unrealistic – instead, politicians and society should change the rules.

    Most of the population have no idea how banks lend money. For the most part banks don't loan depositor's funds to borrowers. Rather, they create loans from thin air by entering a deposit in a borrower's account matched to a loan asset in their own accounts. The majority of money in circulation is created this way

    Banks can only do this (and thus extract huge profits from the population at large) due to the rights granted to banks by the government. You or I cannot create loans from thin air and then charge interest on them. Because this right is granted to banks by society, it is entirely justified to also tax bank profits at a special high rate – I would suggest 80% tax or higher.

    The outcome of ever-increasing bank lending driving up property prices – is that more and more of the output of society is diverted to bank profits. At best, you still live in the same house. But where you once worked 5 hours per week for the private owners of a bank, you might now be working 20 hours per week for them.

    • Gezza 9.1


    • Phil 9.2

      Rather, they create loans from thin air by entering a deposit in a borrower's account matched to a loan asset in their own accounts. The majority of money in circulation is created this way

      This comes up literally every time banks are mentioned here, or on interest.co.nz, or any other social media forum. It's true, but it's true in same way that "water is the leading cause of drowning" is also true. In an of itself that fact doesn't actually get us down the path toward much useful information on the many roles water plays in society/environment, and the same is true with the fact that "banks create money".

      • Blazer 9.2.1

        So you would argue this privelege that private banks are entrusted with, benefits society as a whole.

        Is it the most logical solution to facilitate credit,commerce and a roof over our heads.

        Is it like water….trickles down!

        • Phil

          No, that's not what I'm arguing. And please bear with me while I try to explain this in as plain-English a way as possible… there are a lot of different facets to what money is and how it comes to be, and it's important they're understood in debates about the merits of money and banking.

          The only real use of money is as a medium of exchange to facilitate trade between people more smoothly than, say, barter. In Economics we have this concept of 'degrees of moneyness' to describe the features that an asset can possess which might make it more or less useful as that medium of exchange. These are properties like portability, social recognisability/acceptability, divisibility, store of value. The physical cash in your pocket probably comes closest to the ideal of all these properties, but the funds in your cheque account that you access with an eftpos card also have a lot of those features. Gold, Bitcoin, Term-deposits, Bonds, even Land & Property can all be thought of as having (to varying degrees) some properties that might make them potentially useful as 'money'.

          So then we come to the practical challenges of measuring money supply – i.e. how much 'money' is there? This is a really important datapoint for understanding what's happening in the economy. Central banks or statistical agencies are responsible for coming up with that number for most countries.

          It's totally impractical to go to every person in the country and ask them what their assets are so that we can estimate the moneyness of each of them. Instead we draw some bright lines in the sand and say "everything that exhibits most of these ideal features we're going to call that 'money', and anything else… isn't." In New Zealand that means that we include physical cash and deposits with a financial institution only. In some latin american countries state/local municipal bonds are included in the official measure of money supply, and of course throughout history various precious metals, gems, stones and shells would be included.

          Coming back to that point about practicality of measuring money supply again, now that we have a line in the sand of saying what assets we're calling money, it would still be impractical to go to every New Zealander and ask for the value of their money. Instead we go to the 20-ish registered banks and ask them what the total value of their customer deposits are (plus the value of physical cash in circulation) and we get an official measure of money supply that way.

        • Phil

          So, why have I bothered to write all of that down? Because, at the heart of it, money creation is a phenomenon of accounting, not banking.

          Any time you enter into an agreement with another person where one of you will owe the other some value to be paid at a point in the future, you create assets and liabilities out of thin air, just like a bank does when it creates a loan for a person to buy a house. As long as there is some record of the agreement, be it an IOU note or a trade credit or whatever, you've been party to the creation of something that has features which make it valid for consideration as money. If IOU notes scrawled on dirty cocktail napkins became a commonly understood medium of exchange, then there would be a compelling case to include them in our national definiton of 'money'.

          Furthermore, that transaction with a bank to create a home loan is exactly the same as a transaction with a building society or credit union. They create assets and liabilities, and have transactional accounts with the same features, that are entirely indistinguishable from the same thing at ANZ or BNZ. That we don't include them in our national thought process for money creation is solely a practical data-collection and processing consideration made by satisticians, not because of inherent differences in any features of what they do.

          • felix

            You could accept an IOU from me if I wanted to buy your house. That's not at all the same thing as you accepting an IOU from me because I want to buy your neighbour's house.

            • Phil

              Yeah, they're not the same thing… I don't own my neighbours house, so I couldn't be party to a change of ownership of it, regardless of the consideration paid over.

              I don't understand the point you're trying to make?

          • DukeEll

            Why have you bothered to write that down? as it's clear your understanding is impeccable. which is what's needed in all conversations about societies institutions.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 9.2.2

        In this case, the ability to create water is a state-created private asset which allows its owners to extract profit from everyone else. I'm not saying money creation by private banks needs to change, but the profit extraction by a wealthy few from the majority does need to change. One option is to just recover most of the profit in taxation, for the public's benefit.

        • Phil

          a state-created private asset which allows its owners to extract profit from everyone else.

          State-created monopolies for money are held by central banks and treasuries that have the sole right to issue physical currency in their jurisdiction. On the other hand, literally anyone can set up a business that borrows and lends, to create assets and liabilities that are indistinguishable from registered bank money. All* you need to do is comply with the rules and regulations that are set for registered banks, or non-bank deposit takers, and go for your life.

          * 'All' includes an awful lot of operational and financial requirements, prudential regulation and regulatory burden etc.

          • UncookedSelachimorpha


            On the other hand, literally anyone can set up a business that borrows and lends, to create assets and liabilities that are indistinguishable from registered bank money. All* you need to do is comply with the rules and regulations that are set for registered banks, or non-bank deposit takers, and go for your life.


            That is my point. Literally anyone (with enough inital capital) can do this – within the regulatory framework for registered banks or licenced NBDTs. This framework gives the deposit takers authority to operate, reputation and stability. It also allows them to loan and charge interest on any amount of money up to limits set by central bank capital requirements. All of this framework is provided by society and in my view, setting limits on the profits able to be extracted by the people accessing this framework, is quite reasonable.

            But you have made me understand my own thoughts better – I was conflating the less relevant issue of "money creation" with the issue of this part of the financial system being enabled by the state and thus in my view subject to increased restrictions by society if we wish.

  10. We have seen governments exercise their economic power to deal with Covid. But the vast inequities in our society still remain. The pandemic exposed the cracks in society, largely caused by the systemic evil of capitalism and predatory banking practices.

    • tc 10.1

      Covids exaggerated the inequalities. The need for reform is greater now than it's ever been.

      Oz CEOs average increase just for the pandemic timespan….over 30%.

      We're way off the pace before covid in terms of our social housing, hospital and education. Factor in scarcity and it'll take immense political will to sort it out…..if that will exists.

  11. chris T 11

    Kiwi's buy houses, borrow money off banks, Banks make money out of it.

    Not sure why this is some big surprise

  12. bwaghorn 12

    Surely those profits are taxed , atleast at 33%, surely, ?

    Sarcastic rhetorical question

    • DukeEll 12.1

      28% is the corporate rate.

      be interesting to see the PAYE revenue from ANZ et al. might give some perspective about banking and it's contribution to society

      • bwaghorn 12.1.1

        So they paid over 500 mil in tax you reckon?

        • Gypsy

          In total – $1.779 billion in tax was collected from New Zealand’s banks


          • Four banks (ANZ, ASB, WESTPAC, BNZ) contributed 91.44% of tax for the total banking industry
          • The average tax rate for all banks is 24.87%
          • However, the weighted average tax rate based on net profit is 27.46%
          • It’s an even 50/50 split on those who paid more than 28% and those who paid less than 28%
          • Only a single bank made a net loss for the period – Bank of China (who received a tax credit)
          • Bank of Baroda had the lowest tax rate of 2.95% – meaning it paid only 10.5% of the tax it was supposed to
          • In total – $34.44 million was not collected in tax from New Zealand’s banks
          • However – the New Zealand government achieved a 98.06% rate of tax collection (only missing 1.94% of tax)
          • bwaghorn

            Very interesting thank you . I withdraw my knee jerk comments and retire to the dunces corner for a time.

          • UncookedSelachimorpha

            Looks fair – based on the profits they declare. Of course without looking hard you find ANZ was fined $413m for tax avoidance in 2010, paid fines of $682m in 2019 for ripping off customers, and undertakes legal but dubious tax minimisation practices – i.e. $1b under question in 2015.

            The cheery picture of them all happily paying their tax is from nzbanks.com….there is no information on the site as to who this actually is and it looks like an industry propaganda site. It helpfully says the site is operated by "nzbanks.com" – almost like they want to keep the site's ownership hidden.

            I wonder who funds that website (I suspect it rhymes with "wanks")

            • Gypsy

              The banks were fined because they were caught, which suggests a system that works. And given that attention and those indiscretions, i would expect the IRD and ATO to be be keeping a very close eye on them.

              I don't have a problem with banks earning big – a strong banking system has served Australasia well.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                The banks were fined because they were caught, which suggests a system that works.

                But banks aren't criminal enterprises – are they? So why are some bank staff behaving illegally, and is the 'system' capturing all of their “ndiscretions“, most of their malfeasance, or just the tip of the iceberg?

                For the life of me I don't understand why bank managers keep offending – wouldn't banks still be profitable if their staff behaved ethically?


                Leaked documents allege that some of the world’s largest banks have allowed $2 trillion worth of suspicious or fraudulent activity to take place, including money laundering for criminal gangs and terrorists.

                • Gypsy

                  “ But banks aren't criminal enterprises – are they?”

                  No, that’s why they are subject to such close scrutiny. It’s why bad behaviour is called out, and there are serious consequences.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    So “banks are subject to such close scrunity” because they’re not criminal enterprises?

                    Was wondering if all the "bad behaviour" is "called out", or just most of the "bad behaviour", or perhaps only the tip of the iceberg of the "bad behaviour".

                    What's motivating/enabling this “bad behaviour” in the banking sector, and could you could ask the same question(s) about ‘tax havens’ and ‘tax evasion’?

                    Are Banks Enablers or Victims of Financial Crime?
                    [15 DEcember 2020]
                    It is a nuanced picture, but by and large, banks acknowledge only half of it: They view themselves as the victims of financial crime. If they were willing to conceive of themselves as perpetrators as well, a solution is more likely to be found that works for society, the banks and their customers.

                    Are Banks Losing the Fight Against Fraud?
                    [28 May 2021]
                    The ACFE, meanwhile, has produced an in-depth “Report to the Nations” approximately every two years starting in 1996, which studies the costs and effects of occupational fraud. The latest edition, published in 2020, found that the industry most commonly reported as a victim of fraud was banking and financial services with 364 cases, nearly double the next most vulnerable industry—government and public administration with 189 reported cases—and then manufacturing with 177 cases. Of the bank-fraud cases, moreover, corruption was the most frequent type of reported fraud and represented 40 percent of all reported cases. The study defined corruption as a scheme in which an employee misuses his or her influence in a business transaction in a way that violates his/her duty to the employer in order to gain a direct or indirect benefit (e.g., schemes involving bribery or conflicts of interest). Following corruption on the list were cash-on-hand cases (18 percent), defined as schemes in which the perpetrator misappropriates cash kept on hand at the victim organization’s premises (e.g., an employee steals cash from a company vault).

                    • Gypsy

                      "So “banks are subject to such close scrunity” because they’re not criminal enterprises?"

                      Correct. If they were criminal enterprises, they would be shut down, one would hope. We don’t audit criminal enterprises. We don’t have an ombudsman for criminal enterprises. We don’t have regulatory framework for criminal enterprises.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    But then why does the fraudulent and other criminal activity perpetrated by (in some cases trusted senior) bank staff continue – what motivates this behaviour despite the "serious consequences" of being detected by audits, ombudsmen, and regulatory frameworks?

                    Is it as simple as greed, which presumably also motivates those that 'indulge' in tax evasion, and who set up and/or make use of tax havens?

                    And might the more skilled perpetrators have good reason to believe that the likelihood they will be ‘caught out’ is not all that high, or at the very least well worth the risk of detection?

                    Are Banks Enablers or Victims of Financial Crime?
                    [15 December 2020]
                    It is a nuanced picture, but by and large, banks acknowledge only half of it: They view themselves as the victims of financial crime. If they were willing to conceive of themselves as perpetrators as well, a solution is more likely to be found that works for society, the banks and their customers.

                    • Gypsy

                      "But then why does the fraudulent and other criminal activity perpetrated by (in some cases trusted senior) bank staff continue – "

                      Most likely the same human frailties that cause bad behaviour in many other settings. Greed. Power. Sometimes the 'thrill of the chase'.

  13. Castro 13

    Such a good "country", if you're on the ladder. https://thestandard.org.nz/good-again/

  14. Martin North of "Digital Finance Analytics" wrote a very good submission to the Aussie banking inquiry recently. Extract:

    In summary, we get a convenient misdirection towards housing supply. In fact, the last ABS census in 2016 showed there was more than 1 million spare properties across the county, and we would expect that number to be above 1.2 million this time around when the latest census results are in.

    And worse, the overleverage to housing, sucks the economic air out of the broader economy, and leaves Australia with a weakened future as individuals are persuaded to borrow big to enter the overpriced market.

    Ultra-low interest rates currently make large loans affordable for many households, yet overall household debt is as high as it has ever been and mortgage stress, even at these low interest rates is also running hot.

    The Financial Services Royal Commission uncovered poor lending practice, and the potential for some households to be sitting on unsuitable loans. In many countries around the world, house prices are also high, so from New Zealand to UK, regulators are taking steps to try limit systemic risks.

    • Ad 14.1

      "sucking the economic air" is right.

      Anyone with a few houses would be mad to sell up and put it into Kiwisaver. Even the Growth fund would struggle to compete.

      Sharesies seems to be the logical alternative, pulling in the young professionals fast.

      • RedLogix 14.1.1

        I read somewhere recently – more money got tipped into the ASX in the last 18 months than in the whole of the previous decade.

  15. Gosman 15

    The government owns a retail bank. If you think banks are making profits that are not justifiable why isn't Kiwibank showing a better approach?

    • Ad 15.1

      With Kiwibank in existence for several decades it's not for lack of marketplace alternative for New Zealanders.

      But ANZ has more economic impact on the country than any government department other than IRD:

      • Nearly one in two New Zealanders have a banking relationship with an ANZ entity
      • ANZ finances over 30% of all home loans in New Zealand.
      • ANZ accounts for around 1% of New Zealand's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
      • ANZ is New Zealand's largest rural banker – market share of 39%.
      • Nearly 20% of all employees in the New Zealand finance and insurance sector work for ANZ NZ

      And of course Sir John Key is the Chair of ANZ (NZ). So that's a fair level of political and financial clout to put together.

      There is zero chance that ANZ would be regulated, and any little marketing campaign from Kiwibank is going to get steamrolled deep into the tarmac.

      • infused 15.1.1

        You know why?

        • ANZ's systems are awesome
        • ANZ's managers know wtf they are doing
        • They are easy to deal with

        Compare that to kiwibank. You need to book an appointment. Their apps are shit. They are hard to deal with.

        • Ad

          As a Kiwibank customer, yesterday their CE just send out an apology for their systems going down recently.

    • Blazer 15.2

      Have you seen the rap sheet for the big 4 banks?

      They have paid fines in the 10's of billions over the years for money laundering,unwarranted fees,fraudulent activity etc…

      A couple of years ago it was revealed ANZ NZ had not been adhering to their reserve requirements.

      They laid the blame on 'a junior staffer'!

      Former head David Hisco apparantly 'mischaracterized' expenses!

      No one goes to jail,too big to fail=parasites on society.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 15.3

      Customers are very reluctant to change banks. Kiwibank would have to have massive marketing and incentives costs to even double its small market share , and still be the smallest.

      • Andre 15.3.1

        I'm with Kiwibank right now, but only because I feel strongly about my business going to a NZ-owned bank.

        They make it bloody hard work to be a customer. Their international services are very expensive and unhelpful. When I wanted a mortgage, and could show them assets way beyond the mortgage amount I was asking for, they still told me to fuck off. When I wanted to increase my credit card limit to $3k and I had six figures on deposit with them in various accounts, it wasn't until I threatened to close all my accounts and zeroed out several of them preparatory to closing them that they increased my credit limit.

        So yeah, nah, their tiny market share may have a bit to do with their behaviour to customers.

  16. Gypsy 16

    This from Crockers latest Investor Insight on residential property (Tony Alexander):

    Key points of interest from this months survey include the following.

    • Lockdown has not brought about a sustained deterioration in investor plans to purchase property.
    • Rising interest rates have yet to incentivise selling by investors.
    • Planned resource consent changes on intensification have yet to shift intentions more towards purchasing new builds.
    • No trend changes in rents growth are apparent.

    It will be interesting to see whether tax rule changes will impact the residential property market. Nothing else seems to be having much of an impact.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 16.1

      Crockers is a real estate business, everything in their newsletter would designed to mollify- encourage the investors/landlords to do what they do.

      Ive seen other commentary – not pushed by the real estate industry – that says different

      • Gypsy 16.1.1

        Tony Alexander (the author) is an independent economist who happens to have authored that article. In Auckland there is no indication of property values or rents doing anything other than heading up. There are occasional fluctuations, but the overall trend is up.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Alexanders views are for those that pay for them.

          this where he says the opposite to the that you highlighted in the Realestate agency

          'But independent economist Tony Alexander said that investor demand could be starting to decline already.'

          of course exact wording and time lines means he says different things to different people


          • Gypsy

            "this where he says the opposite to the that you highlighted in the Realestate agency"
            Except it isn't.

            The article you referenced was over 6 months ago. His conclusions were based on a Spending Plans Survey, not any historical data. In fact his actual comments were "There are early signs that investor demand for residential property might be starting to turn – even though the housing market continues to boom, one economist says." So he even noted that the market was still hot.

            His article printed by Crockers is current. It shows the intentions expressed in March by investors was either premature or overtaken by other events.

            My view is governments housing policies have failed and are failing so badly that there is ample upside, in both capital values and rental incomes.

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              The prices are a problem , but other than price control on land and building costs there is no easy answer.

              How can there be a fail when the most recent year was a record number of home consents issued since the early 70s. And the last years all exceeded the best year of that with national.

              Every home built was sold.

              I still see the stuff put out by these economists as high class bullshit to suit the people who use it in their blurbs

              as we can see in RBNZ independent comments recently

              • The return on investing in housing will be reduced significantly by the removal of the tax deductibility of interest from rental income and the extension of the brightline test. Along with tighter LVR requirements, these policy changes have reduced investor buying activity in the housing market. The share of new mortgage lending for investment property has declined to 17 percent from around 26 percent at the beginning of 2021.'

              The decline wasnt premature , the facts show otherwise.

              • Gypsy

                "How can there be a fail when the most recent year was a record number of home consents issued since the early 70s. And the last years all exceeded the best year of that with national."

                1. Apologies, my comment wasn't as clear as it could have been. I used the word "governments" plural. This problem goes back decades. John Key's government inherited a housing shortage which it then proceeded to make worse.

                2. The present government has not fared much better. The addition it has made to social housing stock is certainly better than national achieved, but it's nowhere near enough, and it has overseen record numbers on the public housing waiting list and a huge increase in the numbers receiving the accomodation supplement.

                3. The record numbers of consents are good news, but they are simply aren't keeping up. NZ now has some of the most unaffordable housing in the world, and of course the flagship Labour housing policy, Kiwibuild, was a failure.

                4. So what to do. IMHO the intensification of cities such as Auckland is entirely the wrong approach, and will lead to greater environmental and social problems. The government should instead be opening up greenfields satellite settlements throughout the regions (as we have seen at Pokeno and the proposed 'Sleepyhead' village at Ohinewai) linked to the main cities by high speed rail links (NOT like TeHuia). The government could provide tax incentives for businesses to relocate to these satellites, and movement of people from eg Auckland would ease the pressure on the housing stocks there.

                5. Meanwhile, the government needs to get out of building houses for people to purchase, eg Kiwibuild. Home ownership is falling throughout the world, and has been falling in NZ since the late 1980's. I can't see any government being able to reverse that trend. The government should be focused on a large scale state house build, similar to the 1950's, and we should allow foreign labour to participate if there are labour shortages. As at July 2021, KO had built only 1952 additional state homes in 4 years. Meanwhile, the waiting list for state houses has grown from 5,000 to 24,000.

        • Blazer

          Alexander and Bagrie spent most of their time working for the big banks.

          Independent?…believe it ..or not.!

          • Gypsy

            If they're commenting on housing, there is no reason to suggest they aren't independent.

  17. Blazer 17

    RBG Orr tries standup comedy….'the financial system needs to step up and manage the vulnerable


    They’re always the ones left to suffer and that is where political instability and shortness of business cycles occur.”

    Orr explained that once financial institutions’ assets look a bit bad, or don’t behave as expected, they typically start pulling credit.

    “That’s the usual play,” he said.

    “Let’s make it different this time'———interest.co.nz

  18. alwyn 18

    I start to wonder about the financial nous of some of our local commenters when they don't seem to realise that there is a difference between a New Zealand dollar and a US dollar?

    The author of this piece claims that the ANZ profit is about 1% of the New Zealand GDP. He gives a link which gives the New Zealand GDP as being around $US 212.5 billion. That is about $NZ 296 billion so that the profit is around 0.65 %, not 1%.

    I wonder if I owed the author of this piece $1,000 dollars he would accept $650 because that is almost the same thing?

  19. Hard hitting comments from Bernard Hickey: "we don't really have an economy, we just have a housing market with bits tacked on"

    breakfast-anz’s nearly $2 billion profit a ‘reflection of a housing economy’ – bernard hickey (brightcove.net)

  20. mosa 20

    " If ever there was an argument for urgent and fundamental changes to our banking system this must be it "

    Yes but the desire or will to act will not happen under the SDP who still blindly hold on to the neo liberal economy and the mantra that " the market " will provide the solutions to the ever increasing social deprivation of the policies of the free market.

  21. Blazer 21

    So its reported in the NZH today that John Keys remuneration from ANZ Group is over $700,000 p.an.

    More than he made as P.M.

    In his term,he halved Govt Kiwisaver contributions,suspended payments to the Cullen fund and tried to sideline Kiwi Bank.

    Cui bono!

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    The Government has introduced the Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Legislation Bill to further support the recovery and rebuild from the recent severe weather events in the North Island. “We know from our experiences following the Canterbury and Kaikōura earthquakes that it will take some time before we completely understand the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago

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