Bank reform in Australia
Bank reform in Australia
Bank reform in Australia is needed now! We are like lambs to the slaughter! Not before time you may say?! Thank goodness for Treasurer Chalmers. It may be true that in the 1950s Australia rode on the sheep’s back as the economic benefits of our Merino wool industry and woollen military uniforms boosted the economy. Today Australians are being fleeced by big and powerful banks who lead customers like lambs to the slaughter, while our taxes guarantee bank liabilities because “they are too big to fail”. It is evident in today's day and age that bank reform in Australia is needed. So why are banks allowed to return billions of dollars in surplus funds to shareholders as they wallow in so much profit that they literally do not know what to do with it? Why do we, the Australian people, have to use our hard-earned tax money to guarantee bank deposits if a bank goes bust?  

Limited liability means accumulating enough liquid funds to pay debts when due

That is what bank borrowers are required to do. Surely it is time for the government to require banks to put more funds on deposit with the Reserve Bank so that the banks will have enough money to pay their own liabilities when they fall due even if they have been silly enough to lend unwisely to people who cannot afford the loans at current interest rates and whose homes , businesses or farms no longer provide the sort of security that will cover the debt in the case of foreclosure.

Government should support bank customers

What we need in Australia is a government body to control and regulate the banks from the viewpoint of the voters who have elected the Parliament and government of the day. The current “complaint authority” AFCA is a complete and utter farce. It is not external. It is owned controlled by and comprised of the moneylending and money management industry. Smaller lenders are harassed and badgered into looking after their customers while the big banks are allowed to do what they like to theirs. AFCA protects the banks, not the borrowers.


Until the government establishes an authority to protect borrowers and depositors, banking consultant GBAC has established Bankwatch through which bank customers can have their complaints drawn to the attention of the Federal Parliament in bulk by Votergram. Parliamentarians are the foundations of democracy and the voters’ best friends. They do have the power to force banks to maintain the assets to meet their liabilities as and when they fall due; to comply with a legislated mandatory Banking Code of Conduct and to establish a genuinely independent bank customer complaints authority completely external to the banking industry. It is not another job to be give to the already under-funded and over-stretched ASIC, nor for any group funded by the banks themselves.

Tax reform

Funding should come from setting the public company tax rates at exactly the same rates as individual voters pay. There is no possible reason for public companies earning billions annually to pay tax at half the rates voters do for earnings over $200,000, that is after their standard corporate tax avoidance strategies have already removed large hunks of income from tax of any kind. Companies are not their shareholders. They are separate legal entities and income taxes come after all employment costs have been paid. If they were to be taxed on the basis of the earnings belonging to their shareholders then the shareholders would need to take on personal liability for their debts. I don’t think shareholders would want to do that and that's another reason why bank reform in Australia is required.

Report bad bank behaviour

If you wish to report problem with your bank, feel free to report it on Bankwatch. It will then be passed on anonymously without your name mentioned, to the MPs who can actually do something about bank dishonesty. If you have  serious  problems that needs to be resolved by discussion with the bank then come straight to GBAC and we will investigate and negotiate a fair outcome with your bank. That can be done within or outside of formal debt mediation. Negotiations and mediation with banks are won by detailed research that identifies dishonest, or misleading or fraudulent bank practices that contribute to their multi-billion dollar annual earnings. GBAC has taken on this role of “Customer Champion” since deregulation changed the lending game from one of helping customers to buy homes, build businesses and finance farms to one with a sole focus on maximising bank profits regardless of who it hurt. GBAC has been assisted by the diligence and concern for voters by Federal Parliamentarians. It is run by qualified accountants and economists who over the past 35 years have become very successful bank negotiators and believe passionately in fair play. Image: Tom Roberts' "Shearing the rams", 1890.