Farmers back call for bush bank

The Federation of Australian Business & Agriculture has backed a call for a so-called “people's bank”.

Former ANZ Banking Group CEO, Will Bailey, recently raised the idea of a government-backed bank that would provide low interest loans to small business and farmers.

Federation spokesman, Jim Vote, says rural areas have been devastated by the closure of 1,500 branches since 1993, and that such a bank would fill a real need. Commonwealth Bank of Australia chairman, John Ralph, has called the idea unrealistic, while major political parties have refused to put the issue on their 2001 campaign agendas.