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Public must claw back the big bank subsidies revealed by RBA: Greens

Following the Reserve Bank’s estimate that the major banks in Australia receive implicit public support worth up to about $4 billion a year, Greens Treasury spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today called on Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten to adopt the Greens’ proposal for a ‘Public Support Levy’ on the big four banks that would raise almost $15 billion of revenue over four years. The Customer Owned Banking Association has estimated that the support is worth $2.9 to $4.5 billion.

The Greens have proposed a 20 basis points levy on bank assets in excess of $100 billion. New costings from the Parliamentary Budget Office show that a ‘Public Support Levy’ on the big four banks would bring in almost $15 billion of revenue over the forward estimates. The International Monetary Fund has recommended charging a fee equivalent to 70% of the funding cost advantage enjoyed by systemic institutions.

Lines from Mr Bandt:

“The big four banks are making massive profits off the back of implicit public support and it’s time the public got something back for it.”

“If the big banks get into trouble, it is assumed the government will step in and bail them out. The RBA has confirmed that this allows the big four to borrow more cheaply, giving them an advantage over their smaller competitors."

“For a long time now the Greens have been calling for a ‘Public Support Levy’ on the big four banks, which would bring in nearly $15 billion of revenue for schools and hospitals over the next four years.”

"Because a levy would only be imposed on the larger banks, competitive pressures would stop them from passing it on to customers."

Media contact: Adam Pulford, 0429 109 054

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