The latest Forbes Global 2000, an annual ranking of the top 2,000 public companies by Forbes magazine, shows that Australian banks are not only among the world’s biggest companies, they also make the highest profits.
The Forbes rankings, released every year since 2004, are based on a mix of sales, profit, assets and market value and give an interpretation of which public companies lead the international marketplace.
2013’s rankings show that Australia’s Commonwealth Bank is a bigger company than American software giant Microsoft, and along with Westpac, is bigger than the Goldman Sachs Group and Google.
Looking at profit alone, all four of Australia’s ‘Big Four’ earned more profit last year than Japanese automobile manufacturer Toyota and US aviation giant Boeing.
Commonwealth Bank and Westpac also each reported higher profits than a range of companies active in most countries around the world, including Ford, Pepsi, American Express, General Motors and McDonalds.
This comes following reports that lenders were poised to provide some relief to home loan customers regardless of the RBA recently taking its cash rate to a record low.
On Tuesday, banks announced a bevy of rate cuts that saw majors and non-majors alike drop their rates, but according to John Kolenda, managing director of 1300HomeLoan, the cuts were probably going to happen anyway.
“We believe banks would have reduced mortgage rates independently of the RBA anyway as they look to increase business,” he said, adding that there are increasingly clear signs that banks are gearing up to compete more strongly for market share.
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