HomeMedia & ResourcesMedia Releases#MoreThan4 campaign calls for new approach to regulate banking

#MoreThan4 campaign calls for new approach to regulate banking

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COBA today launched the #MoreThan4 campaign which calls for a new proportionate approach to banking regulation.

In a speech to launch the campaign at Parliament House in Canberra later today, COBA CEO Mike Lawrence will call for a move away from one size fits all to a proportionate regulatory regime.

“We need a proportionate regulatory regime that recognises there are #MoreThan4 banking providers in the market,” Mr. Lawrence said.

“With the release of the interim report of the Financial Services Royal Commission due next month, COBA members are concerned about future regulatory policy proposals that punish smaller banking institutions for the misconduct of the major banks.

“A proportionate regulatory regime will boost competition in retail banking, promote innovation and deliver more choice for consumers.

“Proportionate regulation will deliver important regulatory objectives, such as consumer protection and banking system stability, but in a more cost-effective, pro-competitive way.

“Proportionate regulation of retail banking is regulation that is proportionate to the risk, size and complexity of the regulated entity and is tightly targeted at the regulatory objectives.

“Australia’s banking market is not as competitive as it could be and a big part of the reason for this is high regulatory costs on smaller banking institutions.

“While banking must be strongly regulated, excessive regulatory costs harm competition and consumers ultimately pay the price. Smaller banking institutions are subject to relatively higher regulatory costs due to the high fixed costs of regulatory compliance.

“Keeping a tighter rein on regulatory costs will allow challenger banks, such as customer owned banking institutions, to grow more rapidly.

“An expanding customer owned banking sector is good for consumers because of its unmatched consumer focus and prudent risk culture.

“A more competitive customer owned banking sector will make major banks think twice about how aggressively they put shareholders ahead of customers.”

“We’re not after a free kick, but currently customer owned institutions are being disproportionately impacted through a ‘one size fits all’ approach to regulation.”

COBA today said a set of principles should apply for policymakers, regulators and legislators in regulatory design, implementation and review.

These include recognising that regulatory costs can affect competition and are ultimately borne by customers, avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach to regulation, and ensuring regulation is tightly targeted at a clearly defined problem or regulatory objective.

COBA also noted the impact of the cumulative regulatory cost burden, particularly on smaller banking institutions, i.e. those with total assets up to $20 billion.

“Through our #MoreThan4 campaign we encourage a move to a proportionate regulatory regime that will deliver a more competitive banking market,” Mr. Lawrence said.

“Making a strong commitment to proportionate regulation would be good policy even if we had a healthy banking market, but we do not, so the need for a new approach to regulation is urgent.”

To find out more about #MoreThan4 you can read the campaign launch speech here.

Download our #MoreThan4 toolkit to join the conversation on social media.

Media Release148.25 KB

For more information please contact:

Daniel McDougall, Senior Manager – Media and Communication

02 8035 8444 or 0407 637 541, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Customer Owned Banking Association is the industry body for mutual banks, credit unions and building societies.  See www.customerownedbanking.asn.au

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Media Contacts

Mick Gibb
Corporate Affairs Manager
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M: +61 423 149 494
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