Unfair tax hike proposed for smaller banks: COBA's Michael Lawrence

Unfair tax hike proposed for smaller banks: COBA's Michael Lawrence
Unfair tax hike proposed for smaller banks: COBA's Michael Lawrence

EXPERT OBSERVATION

The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) has strongly criticised a Treasury proposal to hike levies on smaller banks while cutting levies for the four major banks.

Treasury is proposing dramatic increases in levies on customer owned banks and smaller listed banks while gifting the big four a $3 million levy reduction (see Treasury table below).

The levies are intended to cover higher regulatory costs for the banking regulator APRA flowing from the Financial Services Royal Commission.

Smaller banks’ levies are sharply ratcheted upwards by more than 25% while major bank levies are reduced.

This makes no sense at all given it was the misconduct of the major banks that has prompted the need to increase resourcing for APRA.

Customer owned banking institutions have not engaged in the misconduct examined by the Royal Commission but now face being forced to ‘pay the price’.

These proposals send a very confusing signal about the Government’s intention to hold the major banks accountable for their conduct.

Major banks already have a head start on their smaller competitors through various aspects of the regulatory framework.

They don’t deserve the extra help of a cut in their APRA levies while their much smaller competitors are hit with huge increases.

Click here to enlarge

Unfair tax hike proposed for smaller banks: COBA's Michael Lawrence

I urge the Treasurer to intervene and rule out these grossly unfair increases in APRA levies on COBA member banking institutions.

Regulator industry levies should be set with sensitivity to the cost burden on smaller banking institutions and with more weighting given to the systemic importance and market power of major banks.

The Productivity Commission describes the banking market as ‘an established oligopoly where the four major banks hold substantial market power and this is substantially supported by regulatory settings which contribute to the major banks’ structural advantages.

Sharply increasing levies paid by smaller banking institutions while reducing levies paid by major banks will make a bad situation worse.

MICHAEL LAWRENCE is the CEO of the Customer Owned Banking Association. 

Tags: 
tax Banks

Comments

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?