Lender blasts big bank 'veneer' of competition

by Mackenzie McCarty19 Feb 2013

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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  • by Keith B 19/02/2013 10:19:58 AM

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

  • by Chris C 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.

  • by Peter Fast 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.