It’s reporting season for Australia’s big banks – how do you think they will shape up against each other? Which one is better placed to ride out the economic storms ahead?
NAB has already reported a 10% fall in half-year cash profits to $2bn, with its UK and New Zealand businesses hit the hardest. And ANZ’s profits fell 28% in the first half as bad debts almost doubled.
But overall, the banks are due to deliver a combined profit of about $7.6bn, just 3.5% lower than their 2008 first-half figures.
Some analysts are, however, saying that these positive results disguise trouble ahead for the banks, which will soon be affected by a further increase in non-performing loans.
NAB is expecting at least another 18 months of rising bad debts as the domestic economy is ravaged by recession.
How do you think the Big Four banks will perform this year? Will they be laid low by lousy loans, or will they reap the rewards of increased market-share as global firms continue to struggle and regional banks fall victim to takeovers?