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Budge admits banks in trouble

THE anti-bank feeling in the community is worse than at any other time during the twenty-eight years BankWest managing director Terry Budge has been involved in the banking industry he told a recent Securities Institute luncheon.

“I’ve never seen so much criticism of any industry,” Mr Budge said.

“We seem to have an industry in this country which is bashing banks which I believe is unwarranted.”

Never had banks been under so much scrutiny as in the past few years with six inquiries investigating banks’ methods, yet none able to prove the banks had done anything wrong, Mr Budge said.

“However, we recognise that’s the environment we are in and we have to do something about it,” he said.

An important component of rebuilding public trust was for BankWest to become more active in the community, he said.

“A bank like BankWest has to be seen to have active involvement in the community in WA,” Mr Budge said.

He said this meant not only sponsoring events as a bank but also personal involvement in community groups from staff members.

Speaking on the Bank of Scotland’s recent moves to offload BankWest, Mr Budge said the move tested the partnership between the banks but, at the end of the day,

it had strengthened the relationship and the Bank of Scotland had reaffirmed its commitment.

Mr Budge said what had been distracting was the media hype surrounding the speculation of the sale but the bankTHE anti-bank feeling in the had been big enough to handle it so it did no damage.

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