ME welcomes Budget initiatives that help level the playing field

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

ME Bank, in partnership with other regional banks, has vigorously argued for banking reforms that further level the playing field, as a more neutral regulatory environment is essential to improving competition in the overall interests of consumers.

The budget handed down by the Government last night contained a major bank levy that assists in addressing this objective.

ME CEO, Jamie McPhee, said:

“As part of the business community, ME typically argues for lower corporate taxes, not higher.

“However, in our industry smaller banks, are disadvantaged considerably by the major banks’ ‘too big to fail’ status, which provides significantly cheaper funding as investors factor in the likelihood of support in the event of a failure. The benefit is estimated to be worth around $4 billion per year.

“The new levy will reduce this taxpayer provided benefit to some extent and, therefore, further level the playing field, something we have been calling for since the Financial Systems Inquiry was established in 2013.

“A level playing field is the best means of fostering competition, and producing good value and innovative products into the future.

“Australia’s borrowers and depositors will be the ultimate beneficiaries from a truly competitive environment.”

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