Greens announce plan for a NSW public bank amidst rate rise chaos and mortgage stress


Abigail Boyd, Greens MP, Treasury spokesperson and former global banking regulation expert, has slammed the NSW Premier’s response to the interest rate pain being inflicted on households across NSW.

 “This week, yet again the Premier laid bare his political impotence when it comes to delivering for the people of NSW. Rather than setting out a plan of action to ease mortgage stress, he made an embarrassing and futile public plea for the big banks to simply stop screwing over households,” Greens MP Abigail Boyd said.

“Once again, we are seeing how privatisation of essential public services strips governments of power and leaves us all at the mercy of big corporations trying to make as much profit as they can.

“Banking is an essential public service. You simply can’t operate in our modern society without a bank account - handing the reins of this vital public good entirely over to the private sector has been a disaster for households right across Australia,” 

“We have the opportunity now to start taking back control of our banking system, by establishing a bank in NSW that is run by the people and for the people. Our public bank would put community needs front and centre.  

The Greens NSW have announced their plan to break the oligopoly power of the retail banking system, introducing a public banking option in NSW to provide a fair deal for NSW households.

“We need to reintroduce a public option for retail banking, to break the stranglehold of the big four and make sure everyone has access to a fair deal,” she said. 

“Across the world, governments have been establishing new public banks and bolstering existing ones. It is clear that losing control of our financial system has stifled our ability to use banking for the public good. Creating a public bank will add much-needed diversity to the banking options available in NSW. 

The Greens plan will:

  • Establish a Public Bank for NSW to hold and manage government funds, doing away with tens of millions of banking fees the NSW Government hands over to the big banks every year
  • Enable every person in NSW to open a fee-free deposit account with The Public Bank - this will help to streamline payments from the State government, particularly during a crisis
  • Use the Public Bank for NSW to help individuals and small businesses with low-interest rate loans
  • Limit the public bank to investing only in public interest projects, such as housing and local renewable energy projects - the public bank will not be permitted to invest in, or do business with, harmful industries such as the fossil fuel industry or the gambling industry
  • Impose a supplementary bank levy on the NSW assets of the Big 4 banks, raising more than $500 million each year

Further quotes attributable to Abigail Boyd, Greens MP and spokesperson for Treasury, Finance and Economy:

“It’s about accountability. A public bank is run for the people, and is accountable to the people – the wholly privatised system we have now is run exclusively for profits and accountable to no-one but board members and shareholders.

“The findings of the Banking Royal Commission were devastatingly clear – the big banks can’t be trusted. They will always put their multi-billion dollar mega-profits first, with households and customers always a distant second public relations consideration. 

“Historically, we have always had a public banking option – most people in NSW will remember when you could keep your money and take out a loan with a bank owned and operated by the government. We need to urgently bring back this common sense approach to managing the finances of this state,” Abigail said.