HomeMedia & ResourcesMedia ReleasesACCC report into residential mortgage pricing: A call to action for Australian consumers

ACCC report into residential mortgage pricing: A call to action for Australian consumers

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The release of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s final report on the ‘Residential Mortgage Price Inquiry’ has confirmed that greater competition and transparency in the banking sector are crucial to Australian consumers getting a fairer deal.

In its report released today the ACCC found that imbalanced competition, opaque pricing and lack of information has meant Australian consumers have been left worse off.

Customer Owned Banking Association Chief Executive Mike Lawrence says the release of the report is a timely reminder for Australian consumers that there are more than the four major banks.

“There are 74 mutual banks, credit unions and building societies across Australia with award winning and market leading home loans.

“The customer owned model is solely focused on the customer, because 100% of profits are used to benefit customers.

“We want consumers to know there are plenty of alternatives in the Australian banking market that can be trusted to put them first.

“I’d encourage all Australians to visit ownyourbanking.com.au to find a better deal from the more than 70 customer owned banking institutions around Australia.

“Mutual banks, credit unions and building societies have always existed to put people before profits. We are profit-making but not profit-maximising. We are not trying to squeeze our customers to please shareholders.

Although consumers are being urged to consider their options, Mr Lawrence also said the report signalled the need for greater competition in the financial services sector.

“The report is a valuable reminder that without greater efforts to create a competitive market, consumers will ultimately pay the price.

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

The ACCC report finds that synchronised pricing behaviour by the major banks is enabled by the oligopoly market structure in which the big four banks collectively have about 80 per cent market share.

“Given this market structure, policy makers should be taking more action to give challenger banking institutions such as COBA members a level playing field. Instead, the ACCC has found that regulatory requirements are helping the major banks by giving them lower funding costs and other competitive advantages,” Mr Lawrence said.

COBA is the industry body for mutual banks, credit unions and building societies. With four million customers, total assets of $113 billion and 74 institutions, the customer owned sector collectively holds the largest pool of household deposits and the largest housing book outside the Big Four banks.

For more information please contact:

Mick Gibb
Corporate Affairs Manager
02 8035 8444 or 0423 149 494
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Media Contacts

Mick Gibb
Corporate Affairs Manager
P: +61 2 8035 8444
M: +61 423 149 494
Email Mickcontact-arrow

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