Finance Minister Penny Wong has declined to say whether or not the government plans to impose a deposit levy on banks, despite a fall in share market values.

The Australian Financial Review reports Labor's forthcoming economic statement will include a bank deposit insurance levy, as previously recommended by the Council of Financial Regulators.

The proposed levy would be between 0.5 per cent and one per cent on protected deposits with the level set at $100,000. Now, banks pay the government a fee to guarantee deposits of more than $250,000.

Senator Wong said the International Monetary Fund and the Reserve Bank of Australia had put their views on the need for a fund to cover deposit protection.

"The treasurer has made clear he is consulting on that," she told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

"But as I have said to you before, before a budget or budget update there is always speculation, a lot of it is not true, a lot of it is inaccurate and I'm not going to be commenting on that speculation."

Treasurer Chris Bowen said earlier the government had "no plans to tax" the banks, adding he was in regular consultation with them about financial sector matters.

On the Australian Securities Exchange, investors sold down bank shares with the sector losing more than one per cent of its value.

Senator Wong was also asked when the government's the economic statement would be released.

"In the near future," she said.

It could be released on Friday or over the weekend.

 

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