Greens Deputy Leader and banking spokesperson, Adam Bandt, today released a proposal to ban the big 4 banks from charging ATM fees.
"The big 4 banks should be required to offer fee-free ATM access to all Australians," said Mr Bandt.
"The big banks made $23 billion in profits last year, yet they still charge us for the privilege of accessing our own money.
"You can't get by in society without a bank account, so it should be treated as an essential service, not an opportunity to charge us more fees.
"Labor has failed to drive down the cost of the average ATM withdrawal, which remains at about $2.
"It only costs the big banks about 54 cents for each ATM transaction.
"According to the IMF, the big four banks get the equivalent of $2.5bn in public subsidy each year. It's time they gave something back.
"Free ATM transactions would only cost each of the big four banks an average of approximately $12m each year, or less than a quarter of one percent of their average profits."
The Greens' proposal is to require the big 4 banks to provide ATM services free of charge to anyone with an Australian bank, credit union or building society account. Private ATM fees (eg in service stations and hotels) would not be affected. The Greens will pursue the proposal with the Government when Parliament resumes.
7 January 2013