COVID has done undoubted damage to sectors of the Australian economy, but the continued boom in property prices across the country has allowed the banking sector to continue making money from selling mortgages.
The 2017 banking Royal Commission, which cost the Big Four banks in both reputational damage and hefty fines to regulators, is now receding in history's rear-vision mirror.
The inquiry's legacy remains, however, with refunds and payments to customers accounting for part of some $1.3 billion in write-downs announced yesterday by Westpac ahead of its November 1 annual results.
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All of the world's bricks and mortar banks, however, are under another form of pressure, and that's the arrival of the "fintechs" - digital lenders that threaten to do to conventional banks what ride-share did to taxis and what "pay-later" providers such as Afterpay are doing to old-style credit cards.
But the biggest change for both - should it be approved by shareholders and regulators - is the planned merger of the Perm and the Greater, unveiled in August as a win for both organisations.
The Perm's annual report, made public today, describes the merger as "highly compelling".
Having signed a Memorandum of Understanding in August, the once committed rivals are now examining each other's books in the due diligence process.
With the Perm's latest result in the public arena, interested parties will now pore over the details of what looks like a typically strong result from the bigger of the two organisations.
The corresponding report from the Greater is six weeks away, due on November 23.
Promises are being made to retain jobs and maintain branches but the industry is changing dramatically.
And COVID is only accelerating a move away from bricks and mortar.
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