Wednesday, July 03, 2019

ANZ should fuck off

Rapacious Aussie bank ANZ has responded to the threat of better NZ bank regulation by threatening to downsize its operations or even quit the country:

ANZ group chief executive Shayne Elliott told the Reserve Bank it might review the "size, nature and operations" of the business in New Zealand if the regulator went through with its proposed changes to bank capital ratio requirements.

The proposals, which could require the New Zealand banking sector to raise more than an additional $20 billion in capital to comply with the requirements, have met stiff opposition from the banks.

ANZ is the country's biggest bank, with almost a third of the home loan market and the biggest share of KiwiSaver.

But while they can scream and whine and stamp their feet, the blunt fact is that the market won't miss them. People don't stop needing EFTPOS cards or mortgages or KiwiSaver providers just because some greedy Australian doesn't want to do it. And if ANZ goes into a sulk and leaves, then other - hopefully, less greedy and New Zealand owned - providers will simply step in and fill the gap.

Its a mistake commonly made by big businesses: they think that their chunk of the economy "belongs" to them, and ceases to exist if they leave or shutdown. But insofar as "leaving" usually means selling up, all it means is that someone else does it instead. And even if they're willing to wear the loss of just abandoning their NZ operations completely, then insofar as the underlying business is profitable, someone else will do it instead. They can't take it with them when they go.

And in ANZ's case, its particularly obnoxious. This is a company which makes $2 billion a year in profit, and they're getting pissy about the thought of making a mere half billion for a few years to ensure they can cope properly with a banking crisis and don't effectively steal kiwis' money. This isn't a company we should have any sympathy for. Instead, we should tell them to fuck off back to Australia where they belong. That would at least end the siphon they have stuck in our GDP.