Big Switch sees small finish

by Adam Smith20 Feb 2012

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.

Related stories:

Big Switch, as CHOICE leads passed to brokers

Controversial switching campaign won't hurt brokers: Resimac

Choice defends independence


  • by ozboy 20/02/2012 10:00:16 AM

    Read between the lines, "not involved in any current switching" and "we believe that group switching has great potential" but not enough for them to be involved. And the reason for that, only 2000 out of 40 000 went on to "have discussions" no they did not actually switch just discussions. Would be interesting to see how many actually took the offer. I would say about 800 of which probably only 500 have settled so far. Just my guesstimate based on nothing more than a few beers, a napkin and 20+ years in finance. No wonder Choice walked (ran?)away.

  • by Michael C 20/02/2012 10:15:26 AM

    A generalised switching operation simply cannot work because it does not address the needs of the individual / family / business. Case by case they require specific individual attention.

  • by Skeptic 20/02/2012 10:34:11 AM

    Well in my opinion this looks like the perfect kind of behaviour ASIC should be investigating Did these consumers really need to switch at all Woe betide any small broker firm that did the same thing I recall Choices comment that Brokers were giving clients 'crap' advice Since there were not too many consumers they could switch may be a public apology to the Brokers of Australia is in order