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COBA Convention: Samuel sees opportunity for customer owned sector

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Former ACCC chair Graeme Samuel says the revelations of the Financial Services Royal Commission pose an opportunity for the customer owned banking sector.

Professor Samuel has told the COBA 2018 Convention in Melbourne today that the customer owned banking sector is “in a pretty good place.”

“The major banks have a major repair job ahead of them to restore trust in their approach to their customers,” Professor Samuel said.

“They all are now loudly proclaiming that they have been remiss in not putting their customers first. They are all promising to do so henceforth. But will they walk the walk? Will their institutional shareholders permit them to deviate from their perception of their primary remit - to increase the wealth of shareholders? How long will the shocking revelations of the Royal Commission remain at the forefront of their strategies for governance and cultural change?

“The customer owned banking sector has different drivers - and thus a different foundation on which to base their culture. And if they take advantage of the opprobrium currently attached to the major banks, and structure their conduct around the ‘should we do it’ culture, they have a lot to gain from current events.

“For they have the flexibility and motivation to not just talk about placing the customer first, but to actually walk the walk,” Professor Samuel said.

COBA CEO Michael Lawrence welcomed Professor Samuel's comments.

“We strongly support Professor Samuel's observation that it is the power of competition that will ultimately be the most powerful tool to bring about the changes in culture that the Hayne Commission is clearly demonstrating as an urgent priority,” Lawrence said.

The customer owned banking sector has four million customers and total assets of $113 billion.

For more information please contact:
Sally MacKenzie, Director, Engagement and Stakeholder Relations
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | P: 02 8035 8450 | M: 0412 721 663

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