Are bank fees up, almost certainly yes. I was invited to a discussion this afternoon with a bank where they discussed this with us.
Yet the government has not answered some basic question so no-one can say what banking activities would be subject to this extra tax and how this extra $6 billion will be collected. Once that is done we move to the big question of who is going to pay for it, because despite what the government says, the banks will not absorb this sort of money. Someone will pay and it will be either their shareholders, their customers or their employees. The shareholders have already said that they are not paying for it, as we have seen the share price from banks fall. Australia lost about $14 billion dollars in share valuation to raise $6 billion, that is hardly a good deal.
It will most likely mean that bank interest for SMB business that uses the local banks for loans will go up compared to those companies and organisation that borrow on the overseas market.
I am hoping that it will not affect EFTPOS because if it does it will give a further boost to those companies that do not pay the bank interchange fees compared to the SMB that do pay it.
Also I do not see my clients absorbing the increase in EFTPOS fees, increasing banking fees or interest increases too if that is what the goverment is thinking?
I agree with the Australian Bankers Association CEO Anna Bligh who has a good point that it is a “grab for cash to fill a budget black hole," that it is setting a “very dangerous” policy precedent, and it should be considered as "not just a tax on a bank" but a "tax on every Australian who benefits from" our local banks.