The major bank chief executives have begun sending not so subtle signals to their suppliers and business partners that the banks will not be alone in suffering the impact of the Government’s proposed bank levy.
National Australia Bank (NAB) chief executive, Andrew Thorburn sent a clear message using a newspaper column to suggest that not only service providers but the media would be likely to pay a price.
“When our costs go up we must decide whether to reduce what we spend with suppliers,” Thorburn said. “These include the people who own the properties we lease as branches and business centres; the agencies we pay to advertise our services or the companies that provide and help manage our technology”.
He said that, alternatively, the banks could “increase the rates we charge borrowers or reduce the rates we pay savers”.
However Thorburn’s warning and the admonitions of other major bank chief executives, came as a group claiming to represent the mutual banks and credit unions launched a campaign encouraging people to switch to smaller banks in the event the large banks sought to impose additional costs on their customers.
The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals has established a “switch don’t bitch” website in which they are urging people to vote with their feet rather than be impacted by the big bank’s reaction to the bank levy.