Big four demand transparency over new bank levy

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Australia’s biggest banks have said they don’t yet know to what extent the new bank levy will be passed onto customers.

Australian Bankers Association (ABA) chief executive Anna Bligh called on the government to open the levy to public scrutiny, after the big four banks filed submissions about the levy.

“The four major banks have met Treasury’s extraordinarily tight timeframe to lodge their submissions this morning under strict confidentiality,” she said.

“It is now time for the government to reveal when it will release the legislation to the public – after all, this tax will affect millions of Australians who own shares in banks or are bank customers.

“At the moment we can’t quantify the impact of this tax on banks, and the flow-on effects to customers, because the legislation has not been in the public domain.

“The ABA calls on the government to provide more clarity as to when the public will be able to see the major bank levy legislation.”

During the 9 May budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison unveiled a levy aimed at Australia’s five largest lenders – ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac and Macquarie.

That same night, Ms Bligh slammed the levy as “a political tax grab to cover a budget black hole”. On 17 May, she criticised the government for making the five banks sign confidentiality agreements before letting them look at the draft legislation for the levy.


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