‘BIG 5 LIKELY TO

There is lit­tle lever­age to mount pub­lic sup­port against move, say sources

New Straits Times - - Business / World -

SYD­NEY in­quiry into mis­con­duct in the bank­ing sec­tor.

Trea­surer Scott Mor­ri­son jus­ti­fied the tax as nec­es­sary to get the bud­get back into the black and also tapped into pop­u­lar opin­ion, say­ing the charge was just a small por­tion of the banks’ prof­its.

He cau­tioned the so-called Big Five — Com­mon­wealth Bank of Aus­tralia, West­pac Bank­ing Corp, Aus­tralia and New Zealand Bank­ing Group Ltd, Na­tional Aus­tralia Bank Ltd and Mac­quarie Group Ltd — against pass­ing the costs on to con­sumers.

The tax re­sem­bles a charge im­posed on big min­ing com­pa­nies in 2010 that was ul­ti­mately re­designed af­ter an in­dus­try ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign which helped un­seat the then La­bor prime min­is­ter, Kevin Rudd. Bank­ing sources said they had lit­tle lever­age to mount a sim­i­lar cam­paign due to mod­est sup­port within Par­lia­ment.

“It is a done deal, I don’t think you can put a wedge in that,” said an­other rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Big Five.

The af­fected banks all came un­der share price pres­sure late on Tues­day and again yes­ter­day morn­ing, be­fore some of their losses were pared. Reuters

EPA PIC

Aus­tralian Trea­surer Scott Mor­ri­son jus­ti­fies the new tax on banks as nec­es­sary to get the fed­eral bud­get back into the black.

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