Australia-owned banks 'rorting' NZers – Shearer
New Zealand's big four Australian-owned banks are rorting Kiwis and earning huge profits, Labour says.
Consumer affairs spokesman David Shearer says ANZ, ASB, BNZ and Westpac last year generated 1.6 percent profit as a percentage of total assets compared with 1.28 percent in Australia.
In the United States, the profit figure was 1.1 percent and in Britain 0.39 percent.
"New Zealanders delivered them a net profit after tax of $4.4 billion last year, a giant step up from $3.6b the year before," Mr Shearer said today.
"We're a soft target and a nice little earner for Aussie banking giants."
Mr Shearer says an example of Kiwis "paying through the nose" is credit card interest rates.
"We still pay around the same interest rate on them - more than 17 percent - as we did eight years ago, despite bank borrowing rates plummeting five points to three percent in that time," he said.
"No one is arguing the banks shouldn't make a profit but these tactics are not only unfair, they're a rort."
Mr Shearer yesterday said the banks should trim their profits before screwing down on farmers struggling to survive the dairy season.
The Government says it expects the banks will continue to support farmers and "act responsibly".