Greens Back COBA’s New Bank Levy Campaign

Deputy Greens Leader and Finance spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today announced that the Greens are backing COBA’s new campaign for a levy on the ‘Big Four’ banks.

“In 2010, just after I was elected, I called for a levy to be introduced on the ‘Big Four’ banks and have campaigned for one ever since,” said Mr Bandt.

“It’s great to see that COBA (Customer Owned Banking Association) has launched a fantastic new campaign saying the same thing.

“The ‘Big Four’ paying a modest levy into the public purse is a fair proposition, given that they have higher profits because of their taxpayer-guaranteed ‘too big to fail’ status.

“They can borrow credit more cheaply because of this Government guarantee and the Greens believe a levy is simply giving back to taxpayers for this advantage.

“The bank levy in the UK has raised UKP5 billion so far and the Government is reportedly considering raising it again.

“For critics of such a move in Australia, I would draw their attention to the rude health of the UK’s financial sector and the benefits this levy brings British taxpayers at the same time,” said Mr Bandt.

In 2013, the Greens proposed a 20 basis points levy on bank assets in excess of $100 billion. The proposal costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office would raise $11 billion over four years.

Issued: June 16 2014 

The levy mirrors similar levies in Europe that raise on average approximately 0.2% of GDP and is based on International Monetary Fund proposals. An updated costing of the levy was released as part of the Greens' election platform launch on July 14 to raise $8.4 billion over the next 3 years.