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Australia’s future fund has big exposures to banks

The Future Fund has major stakes in all of our big banks.

It’s not good enough that they are sitting on their hands and saying nothing about the major banks closing branches. Australians are very angry about the way the major banks are shafting them. 

The Government who controls the Future Fund should start leaning on the banks to keep branches open. Or even better start a new public bank or buy out a smaller bank with a view to expanding its footprint. 

More at: https://www.futurefund.gov.au

Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee
13/02/2024
Estimates
FINANCE PORTFOLIO
Future Fund Management Agency

Senator RENNICK: What’s your view on banks that don’t honour their code of conduct? I note that the Future Fund has been holding shares in all the four major banks. They’re all rapidly closing branches in the regions and walking away from their responsibility to deliver cash to small business. Is the Future Fund going to take an active role in standing up to these banks and making sure that they deliver their promises under the code of conduct?

Dr Arndt : Thanks for the question. As you rightly point out, we do have quite a big exposure to Australian banks. We meet with them, as a shareholder, regularly, at least once a year, sometimes several times a year. We talk to them about the sorts of issues a long-term investor should be concerned about, such as their conduct and how their customers are perceiving them. I’m not aware of whether we’ve specifically talked to them about that issue, but it is the type of issue that we would raise with them in terms of the ongoing longevity of their business, the regulatory environment they operate in and what the best long-term outcome for shareholders and other stakeholders is.

Senator RENNICK: Thank you. As someone who is on the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee, which is inquiring into the closure of branches in regions, I can assure you that constituents out there are very angry that banks are closing their branches. I’ll leave that as a comment. If you could take that up with them, I’d appreciate it.

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