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Atlantic Racing Scene
 

Our banks continue to
extract obscene profits

xBy Dale H Mader


While consumers and small business struggle to keep their financial heads above water, Canadian Banks have racked up record profit levels in 2006. Total profits for the Royal Bank of Canada; The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; The Bank of Montreal; The Bank of Nova Scotia; The Toronto-Dominion Bank and the National Bank of Canada totalled a year-end bonanza of $6.3 billion dollars.

This bonanza will, of course be welcomed in the executive boardrooms of the big six Canadian banks, and bank shareholders will no doubt be rubbing their hands with glee. It will not however, sit well with some consumer groups who call for an end to the corporate greed enjoyed by the banks year after year.

It certainly will not go down well with the small businessmen in this industry who find the banking industry consistently less than helpful in its treatment of those individuals seeking understanding and financial help in growing their automotive business.

The record profit levels enjoyed by the banks seems to have finally caught the attention of some Canadian politicians. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty recently met with representatives of the banks and raised his concerns over the ATM fees being charged in Canada.

NDP leader Jack Layton has taken issue with the “exorbitant interest rates” being charged in Canada and is proposing laws to eliminate fees for using automated banking machines.

Even Prime Minister Stephen Harper is reported to have acknowledged that the high fees “annoy” him. Meanwhile in the US, the secret interchange fees fixed by Visa and MasterCard and their card-issuing banks has caught the attention of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee looking into abusive credit card industry practices. Maybe just maybe, we may someday see some relief.

Dale H Mader
Managing Editor

You can contact Dale here.