The Federal Government is planning to close down banks across the country and shut down a number of other financial services businesses as part of the Coalition’s climate change policy.
Key points:The Federal Government plans to close banks across Australia as part, or in part, of its climate change strategyThe closures will affect all Commonwealth financial services institutions, and banks are set to be closed in Melbourne, Sydney and BrisbaneThe closures come as the Federal Government’s climate policy is being challenged by LaborThe closure will affect many Commonwealth financial institutions, but the majority will be run by the Australian Banking Association, which represents the financial services industry in Australia.
The Government’s Climate Change Strategy aims to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.
It is due to be unveiled on Tuesday, with the Government’s Environment Minister Greg Hunt announcing the Government would close more than 20 banks and financial institutions as part its climate policy.
Mr Hunt said the Government will continue to encourage banks to continue to offer services to their customers, while also encouraging other financial institutions to be transparent and to continue their work.
“Australia is a world leader in financial inclusion and we’re working hard to bring more people into the banking and financial services industries, so we’re going to make sure that these services are supported and the services continue to thrive,” he said.
“The government will continue its work to encourage more people to come into the banks and other financial service industries.”
Mr Hunt acknowledged that the Government had to close some banks and some financial services entities.
“There are some banks that we’re planning to shut down as well,” he told ABC radio.
“Some of those that are closed, they’re not going to be re-opened, but they’re going close as part or in parts of their business, which we’ll be announcing in the coming weeks.”
Mr Turnbull said the closure plans would affect “almost all Australian banks”.
“In Australia, the Commonwealth banks will continue their activities and services and they will continue operating in the same way, but for many Australians that will mean shutting down some of their businesses, and that will be very difficult,” he added.
Mr Turnbull was responding to questions about whether the Government plans would involve the closure of Commonwealth banks, which account for about 90 per cent of Australia’s banking sector.
The Coalition says the Government is not going after the banks, but is targeting the banks’ owners and executives to close.
“We’re not closing banks.
We’re closing them and we want them to be fully compliant with their responsibilities under the Australian banking code,” Mr Turnbull said.
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