The big four Australian banks (ANZ, Westpac, National Australia Bank & Commonwealth Bank of Australia) reported a combined profit of just under $29 billion this year. These record profits are the biggest in the advanced capitalist world for the fourth year running.
By Socialist Party reporters
In the main these profits have been drawn from the pockets of ordinary people via the interest payments on high levels of household debt. The banks have been one of the main beneficiaries of high property prices and in turn the need for people to take out huge home loans.
The other main advantage held by the big four Australian banks is the fact that they can borrow credit at much cheaper rates due to their taxpayer-backed status. The government has pledged to bail out the big banks at the taxpayers expense should one of them fail.
Far from allowing private banks to rake in super profits at the expense of those needing a home, socialists fight for the banks to be brought into public ownership. A single state owned bank, run democratically, could redirect its resources to eliminate fees, provide cheap loans to those in need, and invest in public housing programs.