The Australian Greens believe that:
- Australia’s banking sector is among the most concentrated in the world, and requires Government intervention to ensure this does not harm the community, customers or taxpayers.
- A well-regulated, competitive and diverse banking sector serves the broader public interest and the economy.
- The oligopoly that dominates the banking sector in Australia is placing an unfair burden on the community, customers and taxpayers.
- Retail banking fees are generally regressive and should be as transparent and low as possible.
- Where banks are beneficiaries of government commitments to ensure the systemic stability of the financial system they should provide a transparent additional return to government revenue.
- The government has a role to ensure that people have access to impartial financial advice tailored to their circumstances.
- The banking and finance industry should serve the broader public interest by promoting financial stability, productive over speculative investment, social security and ecological sustainability.
- Publicly-owned financial institutions should form a key component of Australia’s banking sector.
- Financial institutions should be incentivised to play a key role in steering funds into more productive and sustainable long-term uses.
- All communities, including the most disadvantaged and remote, should have access to basic banking services on nationally comparable terms.
- Risks associated with an investment in financial instruments must be clearly disclosed.
- Australia should promote international cooperation to strengthen banking regulation in all countries and the oversight of cross-border banking groups.
The Australian Greens want:
- Banks to make a transparent return to government, including a levy in recognition of both the explicit and the implicit government support they receive.
- To require banks that are beneficiaries of express or implied government guarantees to contribute to a financial stability fund.
- Transferring savings and credit accounts between financial institutions to be made easy with any charges being minimal and fully transparent to consumers.
- To minimise ATM and other access fees, so that banks do not profit from people accessing their own money.
- To encourage or require lenders to provide suitable financial instruments for the establishment of long term finance for projects that will have a positive social, economic and environmental benefit.
- Effective regulatory supervision to enforce prudential regulation for Australian banks, and other financial institutions.
- Prudential regulation to be strengthened to ensure effective transparency and reduction of systemic risk.
- To implement reforms designed to ensure that the culture within banks does not lead to excessive risk-taking behaviour or otherwise create a risk to financial stability.
- An effective international regulatory regime for banking to ensure system stability.
- The Australian government to implement programs to improve Australians’ financial literacy and finance sector participation.
- To promote competition in the banking sector and provide support for not-for-profit organisations such as credit unions and building societies.
- Regulation of financial advice services to ensure impartiality, transparency and protection of consumer interests.
[Policy endorsed: November 2017]