Bank Closures |Casino Capers |Rates Dive – The week’s finance & business headlines

And then there were none. 

According to the Finance Sector Union the major banks will close 37 branches in coming months with 182 staff to lose their jobs.  Westpac will shutter 24 branches, CBA five and NAB 8.  The union claims that since 2020 the big four have closed more than 550 bank branches. Maybe the savings are being invested in all those television ads reminding us how important we are to them and how committed they are to our businesses and communities.

No kidding

In light of the above, It’s hard not to be cynical when CBA’s website claims that the company’s $9.6 billion profit for the year was achieved by “continued focus on service to customers”

The bad news

Despite a strong profit,  Goldman Sachs rated  CBA’s shares as a sell with a price target of $86.86, according to the folks at Motley Fool.  The current share price is around the $100 mark.

NAB tumble

News of increasing costs at NAB caused its share price to tumble 4.4% at the start of the week despite a  third quarter profit of $1.8 billion.

Rates fall

Meanwhile, despite the hullabaloo about rising variable interest rates, CBA has chopped its 4-year fixed  by 1.6 per cent to 4.99 per cent.  Not to be outdone, Westpac, Macquarie and Suncorp have done similar no doubt all convinced that a long-term high interest rate environment is unlikely.

VIP  money

There is no way in the world you would ever be allowed behind the steering wheel of a car if the law determined you were unfit to hold a driver’s licence.. 

However, it’s copacetic to run a casino even when you are judged to be guilty of the most atrocious behaviour.

Crown Casino has opened its  doors in Sydney to “VIP gamblers”  despite being  found unfit to hold a casino licence by a government inquiry and of having participated in  “illegal, dishonest, unethical and exploitative practices” 

Yes, they have had a clean out on the top floor, but it still smacks of one law for some, another for the rest of us.

Quote of the week

“Our taxation system is full of complexity and the latest tax statistics show that some people on very large incomes are able to pay very smart people very large sums of money to take advantage of that complexity to reduce the amount of tax they have to pay,”  Australia Institute senior economist Max Grudnoff commenting on the fact that 60 Australians earning more than $1 million paid not a scintilla of  tax in the 2019-2020 year.

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