Australia considers new protected bank deposit levy-media report

CANBERRA, Aug 1:  The Australian government is considering imposing a new levy on protected bank deposits as its seeks to find new revenue to shore up its budget, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported on its website on Thursday.
Treasurer Chris Bowen is expected to update Australia’s budget forecasts on Friday, ahead of national elections which could be called at any time.
Citing unidentified sources, the AFR said the proposed  levy is between 0.5 percent and 1 percent on protected deposits, with the level set at A$100,000. Presently, the government guarantees deposits up to $250,000 without charging the banks.
The levy would be badged as providing insurance in case future bailouts were needed.
Shares in Australia’s Big Four banks – Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank Ltd and Westpac Banking Corp – fell by around 2 percent following the report.
(AGENCIES)

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