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Banking Matters

PwC's Banking Matters provides in-depth analysis of the financial results of the major Australian banks and also explores current and future banking trends from Australia and across our global network.

Current edition

Major Banks Analysis Full Year - November 2021

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Emerging strong - on shifting sands

Profits rebound to pre-pandemic levels and banks remain in great shape. Shifting sands set the stage for further transformation.

In this edition, we found that as we emerge from lockdowns, Australia’s four major banks are in very good shape and are entering a new phase of transformation. Profits returned to pre-pandemic levels, with economic uncertainty reducing, a significant write-back in credit provisions and lower notable expenses. Reputation has dramatically improved as the Banks supported the country through the pandemic and they have managed to continue progress on the transformation of technology, remediation and simplification of businesses.

The combination of long-term headwinds, intensifying (and broadening) competition and accelerating changes in their environment present the Banks with great opportunities and challenges in the outlook. From the decarbonising economy to the future of the workforce and the impact of digitising the financial system, it is these ‘shifting sands’ that we believe provide the impetus for the Banks’ next phase of transformation. Banks that respond with the challenging balance of haste and care will reap the rewards.


Hot Topic: The rate that stops a nation?

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Preparing for lower or even negative rates in Australia

On Melbourne Cup Day, and again in December, many bankers breathed a sigh of relief when the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced a pause in the rate cutting which has taken the cash rate to 0.75%, with many expecting it to go lower to 0.25% within the next year.

Although the RBA downplay the possibility, Australians need to confront the very real scenario of interest rates going to zero or below, something that has already occurred overseas.

Australian banks, investors, businesses and other stakeholders now need to understand how negative rates are possible, what they mean for them, and how to prepare for a future economy which will look very different from the one they’ve known for a long time.

In our latest Banking Matters Hot Topic we explore the implications of negative interest rates (NIR) on banks and the Australian economy more broadly, and address four key points around NIR:

  • Capitalism won’t break, and rates can go negative
  • Serious financial challenges from negative interest rates
  • Three kinds of readiness required from banks and other institutions
  • 'No-regrets' actions to take now to ensure preparedness


Banking Matters

PwC's Banking Matters series incorporates our regular Major Banks Analysis and industry Hot Topic.

Our Major Banks Analysis provides in-depth analysis and commentary of the financial results of the four major Australian banks, with insights for local and global banking communities.

Our regular Hot Topic explores current and future banking issues and trends, addressing important challenges, opportunities and imperatives facing the banks including risk, regulation, remediation, transformation, workforce, technology, leadership, executive accountability, pricing and cost management.

At the same time, we bring together the right mix of advisers and contributors from inside and outside of PwC demonstrating that important problems are better solved together. PwC is a powerful multiplier of connections and innovation, we bring passionate people together so that insights become impact, opportunities become outcomes and society benefits.


Contact us

Sam Garland

Banking and Capital Markets Leader, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 3 8603 0639

Julie Coates

Consulting Markets Industry Leader, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 2 8266 2006

Jim Christodouleas

Banking and Capital Markets Solutions and Capability Leader, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 3 8603 2065

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