Heritage Bank CEO supports calls for greater competition



Heritage Bank CEO Mr John Minz has endorsed calls for the Federal Government’s Financial System Inquiry (FSI) to push for more competition in the banking sector.

The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA), the peak body representing mutual banks, credit unions and building societies, says the FSI ’s interim report on the future of the financial system is an opportunity to reveal new policies that promote more competition and choice for Australian banking consumers.

COBA was keenly anticipating next week’s report ed to see if it addresses problems in our current banking market.

“The inquiry presents a once in a generation chance to acknowledge our financial system’s strengths but more importantly take a critical eye to the risks posed by the current market power of the big four banks,” COBA CEO Louise Petschler said.

“The ‘too big to fail’ problem posed by dominant banks is well recognised internationally as posing a risk not only to sustainable competition but to the long-term stability of our financial system.

“COBA looks forward to the FSI Panel addressing this issue, including outlining appropriate measures to deal with it.”

COBA has called for changes to the regulatory landscape that foster a pro-competition and pro-consumer approach to banking, including:

· Better and more effective consumer disclosure to support genuine competition and choice for consumers;

· Addressing existing barriers to genuine competition, including the unfair funding-cost advantage enjoyed by the major banks;

· Creating a level playing field that recognises the strength of the customer owned model; and

· Fairer regulatory rules for large and small banking institutions.

Mr Minz has endorsed those sentiments, saying that banking customers were the ones who stood to lose if the big four banks were allowed to dominate because of unfair forces in the market place.

“Customer-owned financial institutions like Heritage exist to give their customers the best value possible, so often provide better banking deals than the big four.

“Our banking system needs to support this choice and competition for consumers.”

To find out more about COBA’s submission to the Financial System Inquiry visit www.balancebanking.com.au

* Based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. 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.