Banking on the banks?

Bank bashing is a national pastime for customers, but shareholders of the big four banks have generally enjoyed tremendous returns for the past two decades. Tranche 1 of the Commonwealth Bank floated in 1991, at a price of $5.40 a share. Since then it has delivered an average annual return of 14.5% excluding franking credits. Westpac has produced a similar compound annual return of 14.0% since its near collapse in 1992. No wonder the big four banks form the bedrock of most Australian portfolios and investors are reluctant to sell them. But what if the banks don’t have quite...

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