Consumer watchdog CHOICE has closed its controversial Big Bank Switch campaign with only one in 20 registrants potentially switching lenders.
The group said the campaign - a joint effort with One Big Switch - has now closed, after attracting 40,000 registrations. Of these 40,000, CHOICE said 2,000 "went on to have discussions" with lenders participating in the promotion. Those who switch lenders stand to save an average of $375 each, the group claimed.
Non-bank lenders including Firstmac, Resimac and Mortgage Ezy partnered with the campaign, which saw CHOICE receive a flat $250 per switch. The group, previously critical of mortgage broker commissions, said it would use the money received for its referrals to "help pay for the running of the campaign".
A CHOICE spokesperson said the group had not joined in any further campaigns with One Big Switch, and was "not involved in any current group switching around mortgages, energy or any other products". However, the spokesperson defended the value of the Big Bank Switch promotion.
"We believe that group switching has great potential to create savings for consumers in essential areas like banking products and energy," the spokesperson said.
Though only 2,000 of the initial 40,000 registrants switched lenders, CHOICE claimed that "many more" used the campaign as leverage to secure a better offer from their current lenders.
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