Legends from our own lunchtimes

Friday, December 03, 2010


I've often defended our major banks against the barrage of criticism that pervades our media and public opinion.

They are each after all unashamedly in business, and by most measures they remain moderately successful. The very fact that four of our major banks ranked in the top ten world wide at the peak of the global financial crisis was enough for our government to sing their praises, and introduce temporary protection measures which would strengthen them even further.

However the tide of political popularity is driven by a fickle wind, and within two years, the very same government began to view those saviours of the Australian economy, the banks that actually made a profit, as a greedy enemy. Perhaps, I thought, it stems from jealousy. Most other countries after all were forced to take controlling positions in their major banks to ensure they survived the crisis, but here the government share in profit is limited to the tax it can extract.

Today though, my sympathies lie not with the bank. Today, we received a letter dated the 22nd November advising that our "investment" funds (the ones that we have aside from the proceeds of our house sale to rehouse ourselves in due course) had been invested on the 20th November for a further six months at almost 25% less interest than we had been earning, and if we didn't like that we could kindly contact them within seven days of that date and kindly let them know. Since the interest from those funds is what actually pays our rent, it didn't take a lot of calculation on our part to determine that indeed we didn't like this arrangement one bit.

We let them know, and while in doing so we didn't feel like being as kind as they would have hoped, everything was sorted in a prompt and cheery manner.

For a time the metaphoric mist in which the bank obviously thinks we live turned pink and then red before returning to it's normal fuggy grey, and when it did, we loaded the car and popped up to Toowoomba, for a weekend of clarity.


1 comment

Julie said...

Like you, I have no problems with decently set interest rates.

I like the fact that we have '4 pillars'. I think it provides strength.

I think the competition within this small market is just right.

I think our stability over the last 3 years, financially speaking, is testament to the structure of the system as it now stands.

Short term bank-bashing for partisan political gain shits me.

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