The rumour mill is in full swing, with former Westpac head Rob Coombe identified as the top candidate to run Sony Bank’s Australian headquarters – should it launch.
The Australian Financial Review claimed Coombe was a top choice for the Japanese bank, which is currently conducting a feasibility study on the Australian mortgage market.
It also said Coombe was currently working as a consultant for Sony Bank.
If approved to launch, Sony Bank will be one of few online-only banks in Australia. News of its intentions to compete with existing bricks-and-mortar lenders has caused ripples in the industry.
Many see it as another ING
Direct, which has struggled to gain a strong foothold against the Big Four.
“Firstly, new and foreign entrants to the market traditionally haven’t done well. This is largely due to the strength, distribution and reach of the Big Four. ING
Direct has been on the market for a while now, and is very aggressive, but still cannot compete with the majors.
“A lot have come and go with big plans – none have gone that far. I would suspect the Big Four have 85% to 90% of the market. They [SonyBank] have a hard road to walk,” Steve Patterson, principal at SAKS Consulting, recently told Australian Broker Online.