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Foreign banks buggering NZ

Written By: - Date published: 4:34 pm, January 10th, 2010 - 86 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, corruption, crime, tax - Tags:

I’m no big city banker. But I was under the impression that profit is the income that is left over once you’ve paid your costs. Once you pay your tax on that, your net profit is what is left to pay to the owners as dividends or reinvest.

So how the hell did the Aussie-owned banks manage to pay out $1.7 billion in dividends to their Aussie parent companies when they only declared $790 million of profit?

It’s clear what the bastards are doing. They’re hiding profits to minimise their tax. They’re ripping us off. Just like they did in those scams that cost us $2.4 billion in tax, that we’re only now partially getting back.

We’re underwriting the buggers with the deposit guarantee scheme. And this is how they repay us. Bank staff are being made redundant. Their wages frozen. Interest rates are out of whack – the gap between savings and borrowing interest rates is larger than ever. Now, we learn they managed to hide at least $400 million in tax last year. That leaves the rest of us to pick up the burden.

I won’t do any business with the parasites. And neither should you.

Wong is duty Minister and refused to comment. What’s worse? A Duty Minister that won’t do what a Duty Minister is meant to do – respond on behalf of the government to emerging issues? Or the fact that Wong is effectively running the country while Key spends three weeks in Hawaii working on his tan?

86 comments on “Foreign banks buggering NZ ”

  1. gitmo 1

    If you’re convinced that they’re evading tax report them to the IRD.

    • Zetetic 1.1

      tough on crime, eh gitmo? You righties are all for lynching poor kids stealing a few hundred bucks but banks make off with hundreds of millions and you turn a blind eye.

      • gitmo 1.1.1

        UMMMM are you completely fucking retarded or have you just been drinking too much booze under the hot sun?

        I said if they’re evading tax report them to the IRD – in case you didn’t notice the IRD was very successful in their recent tax case against a number of these banks.

        IrishBill: attack a poster here like this again and I’ll ban you.

        • gitmo

          Um what ?

          The dickwad attacked me I responded. Fuck what a joke.

          • roger nome

            you’re just a troll gitmo. get a life.

          • mickysavage

            The “dickwad” addressed directly the quality or lack thereof of Gitmo’s argument and beliefs and he responded by calling Zetetic names. Usual behaviour for a troll unfortunately.

            • gitmo

              Who would you advise the poster should contact if he believes the banks are evading tax ?

              And no the “dickwad” addressed nothing he had the usual wild rant.

              Indeed he may be a reincarnation of the famed chap after whom all dickwads are named !

              ‘Dick Wad was an American Journalist active in the 1940s, who was so unpopular with his colleagues his name became a general term of contempt.

              In an ironic twist of fate, after WWII he went on an expedition into the Amazon. He was tortured and executed by tribesmen where his body was shrunk by witch doctors and subsequently used to mop up semen in fertility rites.’

        • illuminatedtiger

          Enjoy your timeout gitmo! We’ll miss you!

    • roger nome 1.2

      shorter gitmo:

      “oh yeah …. bugger me harder you big city banker you!”

      • gitmo 1.2.1

        The banks I use provide me with a good service and I make far more money off them than they make off me ……… how is that being buggered in your strange little world ?

        • Pascal's bookie

          “I make far more money off them than they make off me ”

          Bet you don’t. They give you a cut of the money they make off your deposit, if they were losing on the deal, they’d not want your custom.

          • gitmo

            Agreed, they may lend my money on and get a higher return from a loan for a mortgage, of business loan etc.

            I suspect you get my meaning however – loaning out for other peoples mortgages doesn’t attract me as an investment and if loaning to businesses I’d do it in a more direct manner.

            Bottom line if you don’t like the Ausi banks (or banks in general) don’t use them.

        • roger nome

          no you don’t idiot. obviously you have no idea of what is meant byt fractional reserve banking. go look it up before you embaress yourself further fool.

          • gitmo

            I’ll do that while you go look up how to spell embarrass.

            Where do you do your banking ?

            • roger nome

              so i’m not a spell-master. whoopde shit. i prefer to familiarise myself with knowledge of the world than remember, but rote, an irrationally spelt language.

              you’re an attention seeking idiot, plain and simple.

              look, for a relitively simple explantion of the stupidity of the fractional reserve system (as practived in the us at least – which shares similarities with NZ) go watch 07:00 – 20:00 of the following video:


              • gitmo

                Odd your familiarisation process has left you painfully narrow minded and limited in your views of the world – but that may improve with a few more years under your belt.

                I know exactly what the fractional reserve system is as I said to someone else if you find the banks’ practices repugnant don’t use them.

            • roger nome

              more bluster and fluff from the thickest troll since red baiter. you’re just a pathetic no-lifer jerk, with no political analysis. what the fuck are you doing here? ‘cos you don’t belong here.

              • gitmo

                Talking to yourself again, it’s a rather odd type of narcissism you’ve got going there.

              • roger nome

                so, it’s “i know you are, i said you are so what am i. what an astonishing wit you have. oscar wilde would be proud

                look – nz leaches hundreds of millions in capital overseas every year to the global banking elite, and you say that you’re fine with that. one can only assume that you don’t have the interests of nz at heart. if only you could become the earnest finance spokesperson for the National Party – who have the same desire to see NZ prosper as you do.

  2. grumpy 2

    You will probably find that the NZ subsidiary is paying “management”and ädministrative”fees. Probably also ÏT”and “HR”and any other fees the Aussies can think of.

    A good way to transfer profits. however, if NZ had lower Company Tax rates than Australia, they might decide that it is more profitable to charge those fees from NZ to their aussie companies.

    • Zetetic 2.1

      seems an awful lot like saying if ‘you’re going to rob me anyway, here’s my cash’

      • grumpy 2.1.1

        Still, it would be informative for someone to find out the level of “fees” charged by the Australian Banks to their NZ subsidiaries.

  3. burt 3

    In other breaking news Zetetic takes on a raft of franchise operations specifically targeting the ones where the franchise fees exceed the operates stated profits.

    • Nick C 3.1

      Dont forget the ones where accrued income exceeds doubtful debts. There must be some dodgy stuff going on there…

  4. Spider_Pig 4

    You’re clearly no big city banker and you obviously have no accounting knowledge either. Dividends are paid out of retained earnings and have an impact on equity and cashflow, but no impact on profit/loss. Nor do they have a direct impact on tax liability.

    Obviously a business cannot continue to pay out more dividends than profit indefinitely. In this instance the directors obviously believe that better times are ahead and they can justify paying a higher dividend to the owners.

    And as for Wong not responding to this “emerging issue”? You’re clearly taking the piss

    • Zetetic 4.1

      Bet you this isn’t some one off. I reckon their dividends will routinely exceed profits.

      You’ll have to read the reports. I’m no accountant. I’m just a guy who thinks it sucks that these companies treat my country like some colony to be plundered.

      You don’t have a problem with that though. eh?

      • Spider_Pig 4.1.1

        “I reckon” is incredibly scientific of you, and then you ask ME to look at their company reports? You have shown yourself as someone who is obviously not an investor and has obviously never (or can’t?) read a company report.

        It’s incredible that people on the left associate profit as evil. So no, I don’t have a problem with having four of the worlds safest banks in the world operating in NZ and thank them for not requiring to be bailed out to the tune of billions of dollars of taxpayers money, like the state backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren’t banks.

          I think though, that in light of dividend payments like these, the deposit guarantees can be scrapped, or maybe just apply a special tax on the shareholders to pay for them if needed.

        • Bill

          Net profit isn’t evil spider pig and neither is the fact that it results from a system of exploitation that casually consigns hundreds of millions of us to die prematurely of starvation, thirst and preventable disease in order to allow a wee few of us to live in a lap of ‘unimaginable’ luxury.

          See. If all that was evil, then there would be nothing much we could do about it. It would have some ‘natural’ inevitability about it that we mere mortals could only stand back and observe.

          Luckily, what you term evil is simply and only the product of our activity. And we can alter that.

      • roger nome 4.1.2

        i reckon the whole fractional reserve banking system’s fucked. banks are able to profit billions off lending money that they don’t have. we need to take the banking system back, so it works for the people instead of the global elite. try telling that to the right-wing sheep like gitmo though. all you’ll get is “must protectect outdated ideology” bahhhh!

        • Nick C

          You can start then by taking all of your money out of the bank (including Kiwibank, they use fractional reserve lending), and stashing it under your bed. I on the other hand will continue to seek a favourable rate of return like everyone else.

          • roger nome

            at least with kiwa ibank the profits of the FRB goes back to the state (the people). That’s a far better option than the aussie banks. not optimal however. optimal would be no loans, but public works projects to provide for all housing and transport, funded through a progressive tax system. that would eliminate most inflation and foriegn debt, and we would be a far richer country for it. i won’t hold my breath for our politicians to se sense though….

  5. yess 5

    Zetetic is clearly just a union troll.

    IrishBill: the only troll I see here is you. Take a week off.

    • Zetetic 5.1

      Don’t know how I can be a troll on a blog I’m a writer for.

      Good to see you have no actual response though. Just a little cry.

      only the weak and the dumb don’t join unions.

      • Noo 5.1.1

        Don’t cry too much.

      • Jagilby 5.1.2

        “only the weak and the dumb don’t join unions.”

        Or those who have invested their time (and money) to gain skills that are actually valuable in the real world (i.e. not lifetime academics, union hacks, rent-a-mobsters etc).

        • Bright Red

          doctors, teachers, and other professionals are among the most highly unionised of all. They know it works for them. And what profession doesn’t have some kind of quasi-union like a professional association to look out for members? Hell, even capitalists have unions – BizNZ, Business Roundtable.

          The strong always pool their strength. It is the weak, and usually poor, who have to go it alone, or the scabs who ride on the backs of their unionised co-workers but are too afraid of the bosses to get in the union themselves.

  6. Who gives a fuck how the banksters cook the books?
    I’m for one big publicly owned Kiwi bank and the other parasites can drop dead.

  7. yess 7

    And Dave Brown is clearly deluded.

    • gitmo 7.1

      A quick look at redrave’s blog will confirm that.

      • Spider_Pig 7.1.1

        I was about to tell him to go live in Cuba, but then had a quick look at his blog. Yes, clearly deluded if he thinks communism is the answer! You would have thought what is happening in China would make these people realise how wrong they are? Controlled socialist economy = poverty and death; Market based economy = ever increasing prosperity

      • dave brown 7.1.2

        gitmo you are you happy to be ripped off by aussie banksters obviously you don’t miss the money or yur 1 of them.

        • gitmo

          Actually I prefer them to be in debt to me than the other way around………… oh noes I is making money off them, I must be a capitalist pig !

          • Macro

            you capitalist pig – you should be making money off NZ owned banks instead like I do!

          • roger nome

            “harder … harder banking man – pound that right-wing mangina!”

            • gitmo

              I suggest you see a sex therapist.

              • roger nome

                lol – i get plenty of sex therapy from the obliging young ladies of dunedin thanks. anyhow – how is that busted sphincter treating you?

            • gitmo

              Yes I hear that they use your mouth as a receptacle for their excrement when you fulfil your fantasy of posing as a public convenience.

              My sphincter’s fine thanks although it may not be tomorrow after the curry I’m having this evening

              • roger nome

                still not anything to the debate i see git, just trolling as per usual. still whatever makes life worth while for you. poor unfulfilled soul. i’ll leave you to your sad world.

              • gitmo

                Oh the irony

  8. Quoth the Raven 8

    We’re underwriting the buggers with the deposit guarantee scheme. And this is how they repay us.

    The deposit guarantee scheme was a blatant bit of corporatism from Labour.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Foreign ownership of businesses and land is bad for the economy. Even the university economists know this as they taught me that while I was at university. Then they did the whole but, but, but twisting of basic fact to say that it was all good.

    One day, we’ll fire the bloody economists.

    • Macro 9.1

      Ditto that DTB.
      I stopped after several papers – I just couldn’t take any more of their false logic and concentrated on logic and mathematics instead.
      Economists are the soothsayers of the modern era – the high priests who provide the “state” with the justifications for their self-serving actions.

      • Nick C 9.1.1

        Some people just find different logic applied in different ways/areas more appealing, for example i was never much good at maths.

        Although i suspect in this instance you quit because you found ideology more appealing than logic.

        • roger nome

          you might try providing more rational argument and less speculative opinion next time nick …..

          • Nick C

            Well it seems illogical that economists are ‘soothsayers’, given how much time very intelligent people have dedicate to studying it.

            • Draco T Bastard

              As Steve Keen points out – those economists are still using mathematics from the 19th century ie, mathematics that the mathematicians threw out about a century ago. It’s the economists logic that is wrong – very wrong.

            • lprent

              Intelligent? Sometimes hard to prove that.

            • Armchair Critic

              Economics seems to be sociology without the humanity, and dressed in a facade of mathematics to make it look like a respectable science – which it isn’t.

  10. BLiP 10

    National Ltd® has started to get its fingers into the pie, plus most of its personal loans come via those fuckers at GE Finance, but anyone not banking here is a mug. For those in need of just basic banking services and those, like me, who want to share the love, these guys are ace as well.

    What are you waiting for . . . more containers of New Zealand currency to be loaded up and shipped off to Aussie before Recession Mk II hits town?

    • Macro 10.1

      tsb is bloody good as well

    • tomfarmer 10.2


      what distinction if any do you make between currency and money.?

      • BLiP 10.2.1

        A technical question which raises the wider issue involved – in addition to our cash, the Aussie banks are also exporting jobs, goodwill, their reputation, and whatever skerrick of trust that remained in their relationship with customers.

        • tomfarmer


          if that answered my query I’ll admit to finding to my surprise (and delight) the avoidance of an ideology which does indeed stipulate a strong and clear distinction between money and currency..

          allow me add, too, that folk with this hang-up are largely and unctuously – nay most unctuously – complexed conservatives. Complexed by their so-called libertarian views.

          For the record, and for those among us curious at their goings on, the fail test is getting Chicagoan economist, Ronald Coase, wrong. BY ignoring his theme in the paper “The Problem of Social Cost”.

          It may help. I think, to take a look at Mark Thoma’s Economist’s View blog just now, who gives the topic a little time and worthwhile perspective.

  11. I knew there was a reason we had Kiwibank.

    • Spider_Pig 11.1

      Note that there were already NZ based banks before Kiwibank, such as TSB Bank, but isn’t it great to have the choice? Or would the Leftists here prefer we had no choice and we were all forced to bank with one entity?

      And let’s not stop there. Supermarkets should be nationalised (let’s call it Kiwimarket) also as they make profits and profits equal bad

      • Macro 11.1.1

        If you have the time Spider – read Carolyn Steel’s “Hungry City” for a real in-depth examination of just how well those supermarket chains are ripping you off! And yeah in the past states did take ownership of the problem of feeding their people in one way or another. Today the food supply is left almost entirely to nameless faces whose only concern is profit and filling the shelves as and when needed. This process of food distribution means that we now have the most inefficient (in terms of energy consumed) systems imaginable. 1 calorie of grain eaten requires 10 calories of oil. It’s even worse for meat. And 7 times worse again for dairy. The fact is, if we don’t change our ways and soon, we (and i mean the western world) are about to become as hungry as the third world in a few decades time. There won’t be enough phosphorous left for “conventional’ farming practices – we are throwing it all away into landfills (one third of food in developed countries is thrown away) and discharging it in large quantities as effluent (human) into the sea.

      • dave brown 11.1.2

        Spider pig you catch on fast where will you stop?

  12. Bill 12

    Buggery is only step one.

    Step two is when they scrape you off the floor and bleed you dry…”Cerberus Capital (…) recently made a $1.8 billion killing on their human plasma investment, (…) Talecris, which they bought for a mere $82.5 million just four years earlier. Meaning Cerberus made 23 times their investment on human plasma. They did it by the most savage, heartless means possible: by paying peanuts to their impoverished human plasma donors, (…) jacking up the price of plasma by restricting supply (a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission accused Cerberus Plasma Holdings of “operat[ing] as an oligopoly’), and then selling the refined products to the most desperately ill, patients (…). The products cost so much—one, IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin) cost twice the price of gold as of last summer — that American health insurance companies have been dropping or denying their policy holders in increasing numbers, endangering untold numbers.”

  13. Would it profit you folks to know of whether the NZ government bank guarantee scheme is yet a margin trade arrangement..?

    Not saying it is you understand, only asking..

  14. I would expect that the pre-announced profits of the big 4 would include the IRD’s conditional liability, plus spare for interest penalties, court costs etc. The fact that they chose not to appeal (in the final instance to Supreme Court) probably meant that they saved considerable interest, penalty and court costs, plus the judgement was smaller than some observers projected.

    This is probably responsible for the difference between profit and dividends in this instance. As Spider-pig says, it has more to do with retained earnings, and cashflow in the short-term than profits. However, these companies are required to conform to minimum liquidity standards under NZ statute, and it might be interesting to see how much closer this dividend round brought them to that. Would also be interesting if such a large discrepancy between profits and dividends would be possible without the luxury of a NZ government backed deposit guarantee.

    If the banks are abusing the safety net of the deposit guarantee system, it might be time to review its broad-based approach.

  15. quenchino 15

    If the banks are abusing the safety net of the deposit guarantee system, it might be time to review its broad-based approach.

    Unfortunately no one nation can easily afford to remove it’s scheme precipitately, without money being rapidly pulled out of that country to others that were still perceived as ‘safe’.

    Indeed I recall Dr Cullen saying at the time it was introduced how reluctant he was about it all, and that he expected it would have ‘perverse effects at the margins’. He also expressed an even bigger long term concern about how it would all be unwound in any sort of co-ordinated fashion… as obviously the banks would have no incentive to co-operate and would play off one nation’s govt against the other in order to delay matters as long as possible.

  16. Noo 16

    Oh my god, where do you guys get your material Zetetic, Roger Nome, blip et al? You really are deluded.

  17. Gosman 17

    If this analysis is correct and not just a pile of leftist nonsense then Kiwibank should be raking in either new customers and/or profits. I can assure you that none of those things are happening. Kiwibank is making a slow and steady growth in customers, and Profits are okay but not spectacular.

    • Pascal's bookie 17.1

      I’d say bank switching is a fairly sticky thing. It’s a pain in the arse.

      • Gosman 17.1.1

        Bank switching is much easier than you realise. Certainly all the Retail Banks I have worked for have not thought it is easy to hold onto customers.

        • Pascal's bookie

          “Certainly all the Retail Banks I have worked for have not thought it is easy to hold onto customers.”

          Heh 😉

        • roger nome

          am i to understand that you have no knowledge of the excessive fees that banks charge in the event that you switch your mortgauge over to another bank?

    • lprent 17.2

      Gosman: Perhaps you should put this statement into perspective.

      Kiwibank is making a slow and steady growth in customers, and Profits are okay but not spectacular.

      Growth in customers is always expensive. The strategy choice in any business is usually to either increase customer or increase profits at any particular point in time. It is usually difficult to do both. Kiwibank looks like it is managing it.

      But from what I understand is that few if any of the other banks are increasing in customers at all. So they don’t have any of the same business factors.

      Your statement is a bit meaningless without context, if fact it almost looks like it was there more for effect than anything serious.

      • Gosman 17.2.1

        The NZ banking market is very mature. Hence why there aren’t any massive growth in Customers from the established banks. However the point is if the analysis behind the post that started this thread was correct then Kiwibank would be beating off the new customers that would be trying to join and/or making super profits along the lines of what is be suggested the Aussie banks are making. I can assure you this is not the case.

  18. Murray 18

    i did read somewhere that the main reason NZ weathered the recession so well was because of the stability of the Aussie banks

    • tomfarmer 18.1


      the source – preferably online – would be nice. Perhaps even helpful.

      Timing, too, since pre-Ratings Agency revaluations and related consequential events might enable greater validity to/for this information.

      • Gosman 18.1.1

        What happened is that the Kiwi subsidaries of Aussie banks relied heavily on their parent organisations to source cheap capital. Hence why we didn’t suffer a credit crunch on the scale of the US or UK.

        It is one of the big problems Kiwibank is facing as it has to source capital from the open market or from deposits, which is a hell of a lot more expensive than what the Aussie own banks can get their working capital for.

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