Few expect the nation’s major banks to absorb proposed levy

Only seven per cent of Australians expect the nation’s major banks will absorb the Turnbull government’s proposed bank levy.

The latest Essential Research poll found almost four-in-five Australians expect the levy will be passed on to bank customers through higher fees, charges or interest rates despite government pressure on them to absorb the cost.

The poll’s findings come as smaller banks and lenders face a more challenging funding environment after a global credit rating agency downgraded 23 financial institutions, fearing an increased risk of a correction in house prices at a time of high indebtedness.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen blamed the government for failing to address rising private debt and property prices. He says customers of smaller banks will pay the ultimate price as increased borrowing costs are passed on to mortgage interest rates.

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