The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Joe Hockey

Joe Hockey

The Minister for Financial Services and Regulation

21 October 1998 - 26 November 2001

Media Release of 12/03/2001

NO. FSR/015


Labor's plan to put a levy on banks will mean Australian consumers will pay higher bank fees and charges.

In today's Australian Financial Review Senator Stephen Conroy said that Labor would put a levy on banks that didn't sign up to its social charter.

"I've never tried to pretend that social obligations will be costless to the banks, …but if they don't sign up to the voluntary charter, that is when we will start looking at the levy," Senator Conroy told the AFR.

But a bank levy will mean higher fees, not better banking services in the bush.

A $100 million levy would mean Australia's 6.5 million households would pay around an extra $15.40 a year in bank fees and charges.

Someone has to pay for this levy – either Australia's 17 million bank customers or Australia's 6 million bank shareholders.

In February, Labor called for a moratorium on fees and charges. Now they want to jack up fees.

Labor has no policy on banking.

Right now we have the Viney inquiry into the future of banking, which has already taken 55 submissions, but Labor is too lazy to put in a submission.

Now Labor wants to put up bank fees.

12 March 2001

Media contact: Matthew Abbott, Minister's office 0413 076 213