Several banks have been licensed to carry out banking services in Australia under the Banking Act of 1959. Foreign banks have also been licensed to operate directly or through their subsidiaries in the country. The banking sector is also dominated by a several financial companies such as credit unions and mutual banks which also offer banking related services. Four major banks dominate the Australian banking sector with the Commonwealth Government of Australia adopting a “Four Pillar” policy that ensures that any of the four banks do not merge. The major banks in Australia by market capitalization include;
Commonwealth Bank Of Australia
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is an international financial company which operates in Australia and across other countries including New Zealand, the US, the UK, Fiji, and Asia. The bank offers a several financial services including retail and business banking, insurance, investment, and funds management. CBA is the largest banking institution in the Southern Hemisphere. The bank was established in 1911 by the government Australia and is currently one of the “Big Four” banks in the country. CBA is headquartered in Darling Harbor, Sydney and operates over 1,100 branches and 4,300 ATMs worldwide. In 2015 financial year, CBA made a profit of A$9.14 billion with a market capitalization of A$129.89 billion. The company’s total assets were valued at A$933.78 billion.
Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac)
Westpac Banking Corporation is a bank and a financial service provider forming part of the top four banks in Australia. The name, Westpac, is formed from “Western Pacific.” It operates in other countries such as Samoa and Tonga. The structure of Westpac involves five divisions including Consumer and Commercial Banks, BT Financial Group, Institutional Bank, and Westpac New Zealand. The five categories serve about 15 million customers. The Bank of New South Wales, the first bank in Australia, played a key role in the formation of Westpac Bank in 1982. Currently, the bank has about 1,429 branches and 3,850 ATMs worldwide. In 2015, the bank reported A$7.82 billion in cash earnings and a market capitalization of A$100.80 billion.
National Australia Bank (NAB)
National Australia Bank is among the big banks in Australia regarding the market capitalization. It reported a market capitalization of A$69.96 billion and cash earnings of A$5.84 billion in 2015. The bank earns most of its revenues from the Australian operations although it operates in other countries globally. NAB is also among the largest banks in the world both by market capitalization and total assets. The bank operates over 1,500 branches and 4,400 ATMs serving almost 13 million customers across New Zealand, Asia, and Australia. NAB is organized into eight divisions with the major divisions including Business Banking, Personal Banking, UBank, and Wholesale Banking.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group is among the big banks in Australia by market capitalization with commercial and retail banking dominating forming its core business. ANZ also operates in New Zealand where it is the largest bank and also operates in thirty other countries. The bank was established in October 1951 through the merger between the Bank of Australia and Union Bank of Australia Limited and has aggressively expanded into the emerging markets of China and other Asia-Pacific regions. ANZ is one of the most profitable institutions in Australia recording cash earning of A$7.22 billion and a market capitalization of A$69.13 billion in 2015 financial year.