Heritage Bank supports call for better consumer information in banking

New polling shows most Australians don’t trust the financial advice they get from the country’s big banks, highlighting the growing case for changes to Australia’s banking system, Heritage Bank CEO John Minz said today.

Mr Minz said the poll showed how important it was that the Federal Government’s current Financial System Inquiry (FSI) addressed concerns about competition and consumer awareness of banking products.

The research was commissioned by the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA), the peak body for Australia’s mutual banks, credit unions and building societies.

The poll of more than 1000 Australians by Essential Research found:

· 62 per cent have little or no trust in the big four banks to give independent financial advice;

· 86 per cent of Australian’s think there needs a more transparency and clarity regarding rates and fees;

· 54 per cent of Australian’s believe there needs to be more competition in the banking market.

“These poll results underline the confusion and uncertainty many people experience in the banking market,” Mr Minz said.

“The FSI will help set the rules for the banking sector for the next decade, so we urge everyone to get involved in the debate for a better banking deal.

“Customer-owned institutions such as Heritage Bank are offering great value products and service but we need to make banking rules fairer to achieve a level playing field.”

COBA will make a further submission to the FSI later this month on behalf of Australia’s credit unions, building societies and mutual banks that together represent more than 4 million Australian customers.

****Media Note:Video grabs of Customer Owned Banking Association Acting CEO Mark Degotardi are available for download at www.balancebanking.com.auincluding a grab about the sector’s value to regional Australia.

* Home loan comparison rate based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years.  Fixed loan comparison rate applies only for loans with an LVR of 80% or less and a loan amount of $150,000 to $249,999.  WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.

Interest rates are on a per annum basis. Rates are correct as stated and subject to change without notice. Rates shown are for new loans and do not apply to switches or internal refinances.

Home Advantage Variable rates include discounts shown from the Standard Variable rate. Home Advantage Living Equity rates include discounts from the Living Equity rate. Discounts are based on total lending in the package. Discount Variable LVR rates are for new lending and include discounts from the Discount Variable Loan Rate.  Discounts are not available in conjunction with any other interest rate discount or special offer. All fixed rates are fixed for the period stated and revert to the variable rate applying at expiration of the fixed term. To approved applicants only. Conditions, criteria and fees apply.

Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) is the loan amount divided by the value of your security property (determined by Heritage Bank at assessment), multiplied by 100. Owner Occupied loans have a maximum LVR of 95%, Investment loans have a maximum LVR of 80% and Living Equity has a maximum LVR of 80%. Heritage is not accepting any new investment applications until further notice.

This advice has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness having regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs.

Generate a personalised Key Fact Sheet based on your loan amount, term and repayments. This tool is provided to help you compare home loans from Heritage with other financial institutions.