Following the often scandalous revelations from the much publicized Banking Enquiry, a revolution is taking place with Australia’s big banks.
Under fire from the financial authorities, commentators and shareholders they’ve become gripped by conservatism. Many directors and key management personnel have gone and lending (wisely) to the commercial property sector has ceased.
In an attempt to boost their capital base it won’t surprise me should Westpac and the National Bank of Australia in particular, sell off their New Zealand branches, in the latter case, namely the BNZ.
Should that happen, likely purchasers would be our own Government Funds which would certainly please the public given the endless griping about New Zealand banks’ foreign ownership.
That complaint is economic naivety given we’re part of a global economy and actual ownership of commercial activities matters not a whit. But on the other side of the coin is the ignorant pervading economic nationalism of many voters, thus such an action would go down a treat with them. It will be mindful of that political consideration which will determine the Government’s response.