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Westpac and Commonwealth get thumbs up

Founder and investment director of fund manager Investors Mutual Anton Tagliaferro, in an interview with the Australian Financial Review, has provided a blunt assessment of his view on each of Australia’s four major banks.

Anton’s record at Investors Mutual, which is part-owned by the listed Treasury Group (ASX: TRG), is sensational. Since its inception in 1998, the Investors Mutual Australian Share Fund fund has returned 11.4% per annum, outperforming its benchmark by a healthy 2.9%.

Of the major banks, Anton likes Westpac Bank (ASX: WBC) and Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) the best. He mentions their sound domestic focus and wealth management divisions as highlights. National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) comes in next for its quality domestic brand and reasonable wealth management business; however, NAB’s history of bad acquisitions means Anton views the bank less favourably. No doubt it’s the memories of NAB’s shocking overseas track record which reinforces Anton’s dislike for the ANZ Bank (ASX: ANZ). ANZ currently has grand plans to expand into Asia; as Anton puts it: “their Asian strategy – it’s just nonsense.”

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns shares in Treasury Group.

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