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Newsflash: Banks are greedy

A former top employee of ANZ has said that the banking industry has a culture of greed and a disregard for customers. Christopher Page made the comments while speaking to a group of students at the University of Melbourne.

In his talk, Page said “Why do people hate the banks? Because we have broken their trust. We have not looked after our customers’ interests”. He said the behaviour of banks during the Global Financial Crisis had done so much damage to their reputation that they were still trying to repair it now. 

Page also claimed that more focus was given to internal bonuses than to customer satisfaction. He said “I reckon if you go to most meetings (within banks), there will be very few conversations about customers. They will talk a lot about what is in the bonus pool and how we divide it, but not customers”.

Does this surprise you? Is it alarming to hear these comments from an ‘insider’? Do you trust the banks?

Comment – Are we really surprised?

I read in the news today that a former senior bank employee has said that the banking industry is ruled by a culture of greed. Well, really? In other news the sky is blue, the month is June and we’re yet to discover any credible evidence of Big Foot.

Christopher Page, the former chief risk officer at ANZ, has said that banks are struggling to repair damage done to their reputation during the Global Financial Crisis and that more focus is given to staff bonuses than customer satisfaction.

I guess the most interesting thing about these comments is that they come from a former ‘insider’. Being a former employee his motives are unclear, maybe he’s seeking revenge? But regardless of his intentions it gives us an interesting insight and probably does even more damage to the already shaky reputation he is talking about.

The most concerning thing is his description of the average meeting within a bank. He said “I reckon if you go to most meetings (within banks), there will be very few conversations about customers. They will talk a lot about what is in the bonus pool and how we divide it, but not customers”. Perhaps this explains why the Reserve Bank interest rate cuts aren’t always passed on to customers.

How do you feel about the banks? Do you think they’re greedy? Or are they just the same as any other business, trying to increase profits and keep their shareholders happy?

Read more about this story from The Age.

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