Bank on Us – You’ve Got To Be Kidding?
It’s Tuesday – let’s get talking…
You can always bank on banks to make me grumpy and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. In fact, I know I’m not – the union is rallying its warriors and I have a feeling it’s not going to be pretty.
There’s a number of reasons banks get up my goat. First, their service is crap. Second, they have hidden fees and charges. Third, they raise their interest rates against the lead of the Reserve Bank of Australia. And fourth, they make ridiculous profits, yet still threaten to sack hundreds, perhaps thousands, of staff.
ANZ yesterday announced it was going to slash 1,000 jobs this year, saving the bank about $90 million. And according to news.com.au, the Finance Sector Union has warned this is just the tip of the iceberg. So far, up to 2,000 jobs in the banking sector have been lost this year and the union reckons up to 10,000 jobs in the sector could go, as other banks follow suit. Profit is king and how best to cut costs than cut staff numbers? Oh yeah, and despite crying hardship over higher overseas funding costs, they raise interest rates.
Did you know, that despite a haemorrhaging global economy, Australia’s big four banks made a combined profit of $24 billion last year? Which makes me wonder how can they justify cutting so many jobs? It’s almost like the banks are so annoyed they’re not joining in the global economic crises that they want to single handedly force our nation’s economy into a slump. Raise rates and cut jobs, making people even more nervous and therefore stop spending money.
The Finance Sector Union is warning of strike action and I’m pretty sure they’re busily working out stop work campaigns, while the banks are madly crunching numbers to see how many more people they can let go to boost their bottom line. You can see them now with their calculators out, wringing their hands together.
The banks are competitors, but man, when they do join forces, they are a greedy beast which is looking increasingly like it can’t be tamed. The RBA speaks and the beast does not listen. The union will try and slay it – I fear the union will get burned. The banks are a dragon, each taking turns to be the mouthpiece breathing fire. The others then quickly jump in the dragon suit taking up positions of legs and tail.
We, the customers, are but the pesky villagers. It seems it might be time to start fighting. Time to start doing what only we can do and search for banking alternatives. If it’s money which the banks want, if currency is the only language this “Big Four Bank Dragon” can understand, we’ll have to start speaking to it directly and move to other financial institutions. How much longer can we stand by and let them treat us with such contempt?
What do you think about the ANZ Bank’s decision to slash jobs? Do you think banks make too much money? Do you think unions should get involved?
Happy Valentine’s Day,
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