The best way to bring clarity to the banking system is for an independent actuary to look at the maths behind the numbers the big four use in the media, according to the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA).
The suggestion follows a call by NAB chairman Ken Henry for a Senate inquiry into the Turnbull government’s $6.2 billion bank levy on the major banks, including Macquarie, contained in the federal budget.
“Distinguishing fact from fiction is the major challenge,” said FBAA executive director Peter White.
“Are we getting facts from the banks?
“Maybe we need an independent actuary to look at the bank’s figures quoted in the media and their impact on shareholders, interest rates and additional fees and charges that may be forced onto borrowers, to get clarification of the real impact the government levy will have, and where.”
Mr White said the FBAA is concerned the market chatter about the bank levy, which is mostly a negative impact to everyone except themselves, is muddying the waters.
“There are many varying opinions, yet the banks fail to remember the government has backed the majors allowing a cheaper cost of funds by 0.17 per cent over what non-majors get.
“We, as people and businesses, all have to pay our taxes and sometimes they go up whether we like it or not. For example, the Medicare levy will rise in order to pay for the NDIS.
“So why are the banks, who continually boast about how much money they make, complaining about having to pay their taxes?
“We need to ensure they are fully transparent and accountable.”