CHART: Australian Bank Staff Are Either Extremely Productive, Or Underpaid

Getty/ Cameron Spencer

Australia’s big four banks are among the most cost-efficient in the world, with revenues almost four times as much as staff expenses.

CIMB analysts John Buonaccorsi and Ashley Dalziell this week report that Westpac, the Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and ANZ were “almost leading the world” in terms of staff expense to revenue ratios in the 2011 financial year.

That implies that Australian bank staff are either extremely productive, or underpaid compared to their overseas counterparts.

From the report (click to enlarge):

The big four banks’ wage-to-revenue ratios fell further last financial year as a result of productivity drives.

About 2% of jobs were cut across the major banks in the 2012 financial year, and a further 1.9% of jobs were lost from NAB and 1.7% from ANZ in the first half of this financial year.

CIMB suggested that the ratio could fall again this financial year, with wages likely to rise an average of 3%.

“We remain cautious on just how much further the banks can drive efficiency gains without some resulting damage to the revenue capacity of their franchises,” the analysts report.

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