Bankmecu is pleased with confirmation from ACCC that it will examine the “competitive effects” of CBA’s plan to increase its ownership in Aussie Home Loans and has renewed its call for greater transparency around sub-brands.
The bank’s acting CEO, Robert Allen, says the proposed acquisition further illustrated the need for greater transparency when it comes to the multi-brand strategies being pursued by the country’s major banks.
“There is growing concern that the major banks are creating a veneer of competition through their ownership of various sub-brands, such as Aussie Home Loans.”
As reported in Australian Broker in December, Bankmecu issued a letter to Treasurer Wayne Swan, calling on the federal government to deliver on its promise to increase competition and choice in banking for Australian consumers.
“We’d like to see the government require banks to prominently disclose ownership of wholly owned subsidiary sub-brands in their advertising. All Aussie Home Loan’s advertising should make it clear to consumers that their majority owner is the Commonwealth Bank. These facts will better enable consumers to make informed decisions about their banking.”
Allen says a survey of more than 1,000 Australians conducted by Bankmecu earlier in the year showed 74% would support requiring banks which are wholly owned by other banks to disclose their ownership in their advertising.
“This is another simple step government can take to deliver on its promise to ensure that there is greater competition in the Australian banking market.”