CHART: The one key metric CBA shareholders want to see

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The big four banks are the revenue darlings of superannuation funds. They are a solid investment, providing steady, tax-advantaged fully franked dividends, something a retiree or near-retiree needs most.

However, analysts recently started to question how long the banks can continue to keep pumping out superior dividends in a low growth market, especially as they have had to raise loan interest rates as part of their moves to meet the costs of stricter capital requirements.

The four major banks have collectively raised more than $20 billion in less than six months.

Some analysts had been predicting the Commonwealth would be the first to crack and cut, probably by a smallish bit, its dividend payout.

However, today Commonwealth announced a record half year cash profit and kept its dividends steady, a fully franked interim $1.98, unchanged from 2015.

This chart shows the Commonwealth slightly increasing the payout ratio to 71% so it could maintain a $1.98 dividend.

Analysts say to watch to see how the slowing boom housing markets in Sydney and Melbourne impact the business of the banks.

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