While the rest of the country struggles out of the shadow of the Global Financial Crisis Australia’s Big Four Banks are awash with profits.

Westpac posted a 12 per cent jump in full-year profits on Monday. Their spectacular figures were pushed by strong lending volumes and increase customer deposits.

In the 12 months to 30 September last year Westpac only managed a measly $6.82 billion profit. The last 12 months have been kinder to the ailing banked with the net profit padded out to a healthy $7.56 billion.

Westpac Chief Gail Kelly. Image: www.theaustralian.com.au

Westpac Chief Gail Kelly. Image: www.theaustralian.com.au

Chief executive Gail Kelly was full of praise for her team, declaring her business “high quality” amid much slower global financial growth.

In using the term ‘high quality’ Ms Kelly was referring to the substantial cash earnings (as against the more volatile items) rising to eight per cent to $7.63 billion.

ANZ announced a $7.3 billion net profit (up 15 per cent) last week. The NAB admitted to the discouraging figure of only $5.3 billion (down 1.1 per cent) because of many large UK write downs.

Not to be left out of the profit pie, the Commonwealth Bank put its recent legal woes behind it to post a record net profit of $8.63 billion (up 13 per cent).

Collectively the Big Four Australian banks hold 28 billion of our economy.

In comparison these four banks are among the most profitable in the world – benefiting from fewer bad debts and savage cost-cutting.

Analysts agree – 8.0 per cent cash earning plus a large improvement in equity makes the profits not only impressive, but sound.

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