Banks hit back at proposal to break up the big four

The Australian Bankers’ Association has strongly rejected the Greens’ proposal to break up Australia’s major banks, and has called on the Australian Labor Party to do the same.

In a statement yesterday, ABA chief executive Steven Münchenberg highlighted that Australia has some of the strongest banks in the world.

“Out of the top 100 banks globally, our major banks are in the small group of only 11 which have earned the high Standard & Poor’s rating of AA-,” he said.

“This means that, even in times of global uncertainty and market volatility, Australia’s major banks are still able to raise the money needed from overseas investors to fund the Australian economy and meet the financial needs of businesses and households.”

Mr Münchenberg said this major economic advantage would be lost under the Greens’ policy, triggering an economic downturn.

"The Greens’ policy should be of grave concern to millions of bank customers, 143,000 bank employees, and the millions of Australian families who own the banks, either through shares or superannuation."

The ABA has called on the ALP to explicitly rule out adopting the Greens’ policy.

“On a number of occasions, the ALP has said a royal commission would target vertically integrated banks, including Australia’s larger banks,” Mr Münchenberg said,

“Given the economic recklessness of the Greens’ policy, the leader of the opposition needs to specifically rule out following the Greens’ proposal to break up or restructure the major banks,” he said.

“The Greens’ policy is bad policy at any time, let alone when global markets and economic growth remain so uncertain.”

[Related: Major bank CEO named ABA chair]

 

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