Lender blasts big bank 'veneer' of competition

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Bankmecu has responded to yesterday’s Balanced Banking campaign by renewing its call for the federal government to deliver on its promise to increase competition and choice in banking for Australian consumers.

The Balanced Banking campaign is an initiative put forward by Abacus mutual and is aimed at politicians in the lead-up to this year’s election.

 The independent lender’s managing director, Damien Walsh, welcomes the campaign, which claims to be supported by independent research showing that 65% of Australian voters think there isn’t enough competition in the nation’s banking system.

“There is growing concern that the major banks are creating a veneer of competition through their various sub-brands and consumers should expect greater disclosure of the facts.”

However, while Australian Banker’s Association (ABA) chief executive, Steven Münchenberg, tells Australian Broker the organisation generally supports enhanced competition in the banking sector, he believes consumers are ‘smarter’ than the anti-big bank campaign would suggest.

“We are supportive of ideas that remove barriers to smaller banks and mutuals being competitive – for example, when governments announce major regulatory changes, especially at short notice, it hurts smaller lenders disproportionately – government’s need to recognise that constant regulatory change can hurt competition.”

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  • Phil in Finance on 19/02/2013 5:48:42 PM

    All these credit unions people seem to be forgetting that without the government guarantee still in place from the GFC, they would have disappeared as quickly as some of the big mortgage funds have.
    They don't have the capital or processes required for a "real" bank licence but are now allowed to call themselves banks anyway. It is the smaller banks like AMP, Bendigo and ME that deserve our support.
    Some of us have been around long enough to remember the disaster that was Pyramid Buiding Society!!

  • Papery on 19/02/2013 4:08:03 PM

    I love Bank bashers...especially that they take exception to being in partnership with businesses that are strong, robust & succussful.
    when you lose your trail, I bet its not because the Lenders you use went bust! We have competition...take a look at your Softwear loan comparison tool, kids..... how many BIg Banks, 2nd tier regionals, credit unions, the odd mutual, non-Bank Lender have you got there. Seems that most of the competition just isnt that competitve after all.

  • Broker on 19/02/2013 12:19:29 PM

    We only have to look were it has all ended up after 5 years of Labour, did you really expect anything different?.

    Oh , and now this rabble of a Government say that they want to protect Aussie jobs....but banks are obviously exempt!!!..

  • Melo on 19/02/2013 11:55:22 AM

    Big 4 hold all aces ,plus have kings ,queens under their sleeves and always ready to punce..Ie St George,Bankwest,Rams ,BOM plus biggest aggreators .Govermnent already given them guarantees and taken out exit fees ,which again only helped big 4.Up to us brokers to vote with our deals to non majors.They are competetive and want business.

  • Rex Wood on 19/02/2013 11:07:36 AM

    There seems to be a complete lack of customer outcomes in all of this. The only thing customers want is to be rid of debt. They are told continually it's all the banks fault, lack of competition, exit fees, etc.
    Using mainstream banks provides a much needed way to help people manage money day-to-day and reduce debt in the process.
    Bank competition won;'t make a dot of difference to that.
    If it's all about saving a fraction of a percent on the rate - then there's greater issues to deal with.
    0.25% on a $750k mortgage is less than $2k a year. For anyone that can afford that mortgage, they could be reducing it by 10 times that, instead of losing sleep over the rate.
    You'll note that industry super 'compare the pair' is all about commission and jobs now - clearly their results don't evidence sufficient margin to claim they're better investment managers...?!

  • Peter Fast on 19/02/2013 10:34:43 AM

    Ha! The union bank getting ready for another compare "the pair" campaign?

    We have plenty of choice in banking. Just walk down the street and count them on every corner. Plenty to chose from I thought and brokers enhance that choice further most professionally.

    Let's face it everyone knows CBA owns Bankwest and Westpac owns St George and as for disclosure, it applies to everyone.

  • Chris C on 19/02/2013 10:21:14 AM

    I have always said, Banks should not be allowed to hold board positions in MFAA or FAA or own / have shares in broker organisations or aggregator organisations or be allowed to buy out the non-bank lenders to gain a monopoly - they have a conflict of interests across too many channels in the one market - kills copetition / they dictate terms and hide behind smoke and mirrors with their special offers etc.

  • Keith B on 19/02/2013 10:19:58 AM

    Hello...the whole industry is drowning in Government regulation and compliance. Give us a break!

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