New campaign calls on politicians to 'level the playing field' for lenders

A new campaign aimed at increasing competition in the banking sector is being launched today



A national campaign launches today, aimed at changing the face of banking in Australia.

Abacus Australian Mutuals today announced the Balance Banking campaign, backed by consumer research which they say shows banking competition is a major issue for Australian voters.

The polling by D&M research of 1,000 Australian voters revealed two out of three want an independent inquiry into the nation’s banking system.

Abacus CEO, Louise Petschler, says Australians are angry about the ‘dominance’ of the major banks.

“The Balance Banking campaign will lobby for change to address the imbalance in banking, through a national debate and independent review of our banking system. In an election year, consumers are demanding politicians deliver a better banking deal for Australians.”

The research also showed:

• Almost 80% believe the big banks make ‘excessive’ profits.

• 65% say there is not enough competition in the country’s banking system.

• 71% agree the big four have an unfair advantage in the mortgage market.

“Our credit unions, building societies and mutual banks have 4.5 million customers; that’s one in five Australians. For us, Balance Banking means more competition in Australia’s banking market, a level playing field for smaller players to take on the big four banks and ultimately more choice and better value for consumers.”

Petschler tells Australian Broker that  Balance Banking will focus on a number of particular policy areas.

We have some specific issues we want addressed, like recognition of the mutual model in prudential rules, review of tax incentives and funding options.  But Balance Banking aims to bring more voices to the debate and allow a structured, long term look at bringing greater competitive pressure into our highly concentrated banking market."

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