Stop Paying the Rich; Increase Funding for Social Programs!
Big Banks Report Sharply Higher Quarterly Profits
The Marxist-Leninist Party program raises the need for a new direction for the economy. Nothing could illustrate this need more than the sharply higher quarterly profits of the big publicly chartered private banks during the pandemic. Profits for May, June and July doubled from the previous year at the Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal and the Bank of Nova Scotia. The other three big banks are expected to report similar fat profit increases for their fiscal quarters ending July 31.
Profits at RBC for its third quarter were $4.3 billion, up from $3.2 billion during the same quarter last year. Scotiabank says its latest quarterly profits were just over $2.5 billion compared with $1.3 billion last year. BMO reports third quarter profits of $2.2 billion, up 85 per cent from a year ago.
Some of these increased profits arise from higher bank fees that all banks have imposed during the pandemic. Higher fees have been put on most bank transactions. This includes changes to “preferred chequing” accounts that require certain monthly balances to avoid fees. TD recently raised the minimum balance to avoid fees from $2,000 to $5,000 and its fee for each transaction went from $1.25 to $1.95. Transaction fees usually include the use of Interac debit during a period when cash payments have been discouraged to curb infections from COVID-19.
This gouging of the public is because the essential public service of banking is controlled by powerful private interests expropriating huge profits — all of it sanctioned by governments at all levels who dare claim that this is the proof of a sound economy. They argue that consumer choice is a mark of democratic freedoms. If you don’t like how your bank is gouging you, find another. It is the method they use to keep the people ranting against them but powerless to do anything about it. It is very self-serving.