AUSTRALIA'S big four banks have been ranked the most profitable in the developed world for the third year running, reigniting criticism about their market dominance.
With big bank profits likely to exceed $26 billion this year, figures show the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ and NAB made better returns last year than lenders in 10 major developed countries, including Canada, the US, Britain and Europe.
In figures to be published on Monday, the Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements says pre-tax profits of the big four were equal to 1.18 per cent of their total assets.
This puts Australian banks well ahead of all other wealthy countries on the list, with lenders only in the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China making better returns.
The league table shows Australian banks have lower costs than most of their peers and enjoy wider interest margins, a measure of profitability from lending. After the banks failed to pass on official interest rate cuts in full to borrowers last year, consumer group Choice seized on the results as a sign of feeble competition.
Read more at Brisbanetimes.com.au