Banks call on government to ‘level the playing field’

by Maya Breen01 Apr 2015
The final FSI submission has been made by four leading regional banks, who have called for competitive neutrality in the banking sector.

Four regional banks, Suncorp Bank, ME Bank, BOQ and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have made their fourth and final submission to the Financial System Inquiry (FSI) process, calling on the Federal Government to act now to restore competitive neutrality in the Australian banking sector.
The banks welcomed APRA Chairman Wayne Byres’ recent comments on a preparedness to potentially move ahead of international regulators in relation to capital requirements and urged the Federal Government to implement the FSI’s key recommendations without delay.
“The Report recommends a 25% to 30% average mortgage risk weight be applied for those banks with advanced accreditation," Suncorp Bank CEO John Nesbitt said.
“This would simply narrow the gap between the capital held by smaller and larger banks over like-for-like mortgage portfolios.”
As a group, the regional banks advocated for a set of financial system rules and regulations that would strengthen confidence in Australia’s financial system and deliver sustainable competition for the benefit of consumers.
“Given the alignment between local and international regulatory changes, in particular the need to set a floor on capital requirements, there’s no reason why Murray’s reforms can’t be implemented in advance of the Basel process," ME Bank CEO Jamie McPhee said.

“Australian banks have led the world on regulatory reform, which stood us in good stead during the GFC – let’s continue that approach.”
For consumers, the sooner we improve the competitive banking environment the better.”

BOQ CEO Jon Sutton said the sooner the competitive banking environment improves, the better it will be for customers.
“We’d like to see the Government give clear guidance on implementation time-frames around Mr Murray’s recommendations.”
“We welcome the recommendations of the Inquiry that go some way toward levelling the playing field in banking. We also support the Inquiry’s view that there is scope to accelerate the risk accreditation process,” Bendigo and Adelaide Bank CEO Mike Hirst said.