Banks are essential and need to be free

Greens MP Adam Bandt said his party’s banking bill was “just the start” of a number of changes the party hopes to make to the financial services industry.

The Greens see merit in imposing a levy of around 20 basis points on the big banks, in recognition of the benefit they receive from operating in a “government fostered” oligopoly.

They want to see the introduction of account portability, so customers can move their transaction accounts as easily as they move their mobile phone accounts.

The party is also investigating the merit of imposing a levy on private ATM operators and using the funds to put ATMs into remote areas.

And it would like to see changes to the Consumer and Competition Act so the Big Four banks are prevented from acquiring any more second-tier institutions.

Bandt said the philosophy underpinning all these ideas was that banking was an essential service that should be free.

Source: Banking Day