National Australia Bank (NAB) chief executive Cameron Clyne says banks should take part in any debate over a super tax in the banking sector.
Mr Clyne said he believed banks were currently paying a fair amount of tax but he didn't believe it was appropriate for the industry to ignore the issue.
"You can't put your head in the sand," he told an American Chamber of Commerce lunch in Adelaide on Tuesday.
"So we're not at all adverse to having that debate.
"If there is a view from the community that we should be paying more tax, then I'm happy to have that debate."
Mr Clyne said on the raw numbers, banks were making big profits.
But he said if return on assets and return on equity were considered, then they were only performing at the mid-range compared to other major Australian companies.
"The raw number is big, of course it's big," he said.
"But you can't construct a super tax based on the raw number."
Mr Clyne also welcomed the move to resolve the super tax issue for the mining sector.
He said it appeared both the federal government and the industry appeared to be moving towards a model that would put Australia on a reasonably competitive footing.
Mr Clyne said whatever his views on the mining tax, the long-running disagreement didn't help business confidence or investment.
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