Big banks back to pre-GFC profits

Australia’s major banks have shrugged off the global financial crisis (GFC) to move back to the same sorts of profitability levels they were enjoying before it all began, according to new research released this week by KPMG.

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KPMG’s head of banking Andrew Dickinson said a cash profit after tax of $10.4 billion for the major banks was up 24 per cent on the second half of 2009, and that this meant “the banks’ level of profitability is back to where it was before the [GFC]”.

He said that the outlook for Australian banks appeared positive in circumstances where the relatively mild impact of the GFC in Australia had left the banks with strong balance sheets and a strong international reputation.

Dickinson said that while the major banks were extremely well capitalised and therefore well poised for organic growth, major domestic acquisitions appeared unlikely in circumstances where the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had voiced concerns about what it considered diminished levels of competition.

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