Westpac profit builds case for bank levy: Bandt

Labor needs to have the guts to act on another record profit from one of the big four banks, says Greens Deputy Leader and banking spokesperson Adam Bandt MP.

Mr Bandt has previously outlined a proposal for a 'Public Support Levy' on the big four banks in return for the implicit “too-big-to-fail” policy of the government that underwrites their activities. Westpac has announced a 10 per cent jump in first-half cash earnings to a record $3.525 billion.

“The big banks are making these record profits, in large part because the government underwrites their activities and boosts their bottom lines by billions.” Mr Bandt said.

“It is time the banks paid a public support levy which would also assist with the structural problems in the Budget. Other industries, like manufacturing or tourism, would love to have the government underwriting their business so they could borrow more cheaply. The banks are getting an unfair leg-up.”

“Westpac, like the rest of the big four also hold back on passing on full rate cuts to make these record profits. They are fleecing their customers and the taxpayer.”


“For many years, especially since the GFC, the big four banks have benefited from an implicit ‘too big to fail’ policy, as the IMF has made clear.”


"Under Labor, the big 4 banks are making more from mortgages, dominating more of the market and enjoying record profits. Everything Labor has done has made it easier for the big 4 banks to make bigger profits off the backs of consumers."
“It is time the big four banks paid a fair contribution for the public support they receive.”


The 20 basis points levy on bank assets in excess of $100 billion has been costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office and would raise $11 billion over the forward estimates. The levy mirrors similar levies in Europe that raise on average approximately 0.2% of GDP and is based on International Monetary Fund proposals.

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