March 13, 2009
CAW National Council 4000 Regional Representative Elections
 

In an editorial published in the Halifax Chronicle on March 8, 2009, Canadian Labour Congress President
Ken Georgetti took aim at Canadian banks reactions to first-quarter results, results that showed profits
still well above the high side - meaning banks are still earning profits in times of recession - but not in
the greedy billions as in past years.

Here is Georgetti’s editorial:

By Ken Georgetti,

Re: "Bank enjoys Q1 hike" (March 4)

It’s tough times for Canada’s embattled banks.  Scotiabank’s first-quarter profits are only $842 million, Bank of Montreal’s only $225
million.

The week before, RBC reported just a $1.05-billion first-quarter profit, TD and CIBC a paltry $712 million and $147 million in profit,
respectively!

With credit cheap these days – with the Bank of Canada overnight rate down to 0.5 per cent – you’d think banks might pass on a
bit of that to consumers by lowering credit card interest rates and consumer loan rates.

But with first-quarter performance like this, it’s clearly time for them to raise the interest rates on credit cards.  Time to increase
Interac and ATM transaction fees.  I mean, really, how will the banks survive on these profits?

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You may have already noticed that your bank has increased interest on your credit cards or various credit lines.  

In the United States, taxpayers have forked over several hundred billion of dollars to assist American banks, in part to increase
credit lending in tough economic times brought on, in part, by poor management of these very same banks.  Yet these banks,
receiving billions in tax money, have frozen lending and have increased interest rates.