The big banks are about to get some help from a new government that is determined to get them back on their feet.
Key points: The Coalition government is proposing to lift capital requirements on major banks The banks say they want a fair and competitive environment in the financial services sectorThe banks have already faced some tough times but say they’re confident they will recover and the government will support them The banks are hoping for a boost from the Turnbull government that promises to lift the capital requirements of their banks by about 25 per cent.
The Coalition is currently negotiating with the big four banks over the issue.
It has not said how much it wants to pay.
But Treasury Secretary Steve Ciobo said the capital requirement issue was the biggest issue that the banks were facing and that the government was determined to help.
“The banks are going through some tough economic times right now, particularly in the US,” Mr Ciobo told reporters.
The banks say that they have already been forced to reduce capital spending by $1.7 trillion since the financial crisis and it is likely they will have to increase it further if they want to continue to operate.
The banks want a fairer and more competitive environment and to continue operating as normal, while still ensuring they can survive on their own and have a strong financial position in the future, the banks said.
They said they had not yet made any formal offer but said that they would look at a range of options.
Mr Ciobo confirmed that the Coalition would consider a loan from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which he described as a “gold standard”.
“If that is the case, we will do our due diligence,” Mr Cuobo said.
Banks are hoping that the new government will lift capital needs for the banks by 25 per per cent, which will allow them to continue with normal operations.
Treasurer Scott Morrison said the Government would not be forced to do that.
“I think it is important that banks continue to grow and be able to operate in the Australian market and I will not be imposing a 25 per, I will be enforcing capital requirements,” he said.
But the banks say the change would only apply to banks which have been operating since before the financial crash and not those that are still operating at a loss.
They said the government should consider the need to reduce costs and boost productivity as well as the need for the government to maintain the quality of financial services for its customers.
If the banks want the Government to lift their capital requirements, they need to be ready to negotiate with them directly, and not wait for a loan.
They say they have been working closely with the Department of Finance and will continue to do so as long as they are able.
The banking sector is a relatively small business in Australia and the Government says it wants the banks to be able, and happy, to continue running as normal.
The Government is also promising that it will not impose new capital requirements for the big banks.
That will mean that if a bank is insolvent, it can go to court to recover its capital.
While the big five banks are likely to benefit from the proposed change, the big three have also faced challenges from the new Government, including a recent downgrade to junk status.