Former treasurer Peter Costello says the banks have lost the chance of a full company tax cut.
“I think something will get through, but I don’t think it will be a pure 25 per cent rate for all companies,” Mr Costello told the annual Macquarie Australia conference in Sydney on Thursday.
“I think probably the royal commission has brought an end to that.”
He said the sheer size of the banks, and their importance to the local market and economy meant that the revelations coming out of the royal commission had fuelled anti-business sentiment.
“When you talk about corporate Australia, when you talk about the Business Council, most people think you’re talking about the banks,” he said.
“The royal commission is affecting the reputation of all of corporate Australia.”
He said banks were now in “more trouble now than they were in the financial crisis”, pointing out that they had surfaced from the mire of the global financial crisis in such good shape that they became complacent.
“I think in the aftermath of that, some of our bankers started to believe it was all due to their genius, they should take the rewards and they took their eye off the customer.”
“Some of these boards became complacent.”
The biggest risk facing banks, he said, was regulatory failure.
“Because if you fail to adhere to the law, not only are you letting your customer down but as we see now you face immense reputational risk.
“Who was keeping their eye on that risk in these banks? Who was?”
image credit – The Australian