Association welcomes Labor taskforce

by Madison Utley03 May 2019

An industry association that just last month distributed a framework for how to promote competition in the banking sector has welcomed Labor’s promise to launch a Competition and Growth Taskforce as an encouraging response.

The new taskforce, established within the treasury, will help guide reform for mutual companies.

Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) CEO Michael Lawrence said, “This taskforce could deliver much needed energy and focus to ensuring that the customer owned model is accommodated in the Australian market place.

“COBA and its members would welcome the opportunity to help create a regulatory environment that adopts proportionate regulation and delivers greater competition.”

The taskforce will help to make sure that the mutual sector is considered when Regulatory Impact Statements are prepared for future policies. It will also examine the role of different business structures in promoting competition in concentrated markets.

“COBA released its framework for a more competitive banking sector in April in its ‘Competition Agenda’. We’re pleased to see that Labor has considered our input and reflected it in this announcement,” Lawrence said. 

According to Lawrence, it’s “consumers who ultimately win through improved competition and a more diverse market place.”

“Greater competition leads to greater customer outcomes. Improving competition in the banking sector will make the ‘Big Four’ banks think twice about putting customers’ interests last.

“Our sector has seen strong bi-partisan support for improving competition in the banking sector. Today’s announcement is a further sign that competition and proportionate regulation are priorities for Australia’s politicians,” the CEO concluded.