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$2.2 billion reasons why we need a social charter.

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Stephen Conroy - $2.2 Billion Reasons Why We Need A Social Charter Friday, 24 August 2001

$2.2 Billion Reasons Why We Need A Social Charter Stephen Conroy -Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Regulation

Media Statement - 22 August 2001

The Commonwealth Bank's massive profit of $2.2 billion shows that it is now time for the banks to sign up to a social charter.

Banking continues to be the most profitable industry in the country.

Bank profits have come from branch closures, increased fees and increased bank queues. It is time that banks shared some of their profits with their customers by ensuring that affordable banking services are available to all Australians.

Labor believes that banking is an essential service. We will ensure that affordable banking services are available to all Australians, no matter where they live and no matter what they earn.

We will do this by seeking to negotiate a social charter with the banks. If the banks refuse to negotiate a social charter, then Labor will legislate.

Labor's Social Charter will require that banks:

Offer fee free banking for social security recipients ● Offer no frills bank account to all Australians ● Provide details of ATM fees at the time of transaction ● Include the publication of readily comparable interest rates across lending products ●

Provide detailed fee information on bank statements ● Ensure there is greater accessibility of affordable deposit-taking services for small businesses ● Restore banking services to communities which have lost them ● Give local communities six months notice of branch closures. ●

For five years John Howard has allowed the banks to rip the guts out of banking services in this country.

While bank fees continue to rise for the poorest in our society, John Howard has condescendingly told consumers that they should 'shop around'.

Howard will not tackle the banks - Labor will. Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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