HomeView 2016 Media ReleasesCOBA welcomes ALP commitment to co-ops

COBA welcomes Labor’s election promise today to review legislation and regulations affecting member-owned co-operatives and mutuals in Australia.

COBA welcomes Labor’s election promise today to review legislation and regulations affecting member-owned co-operatives and mutuals in Australia.

“Labor’s announcement that it is committed to levelling the playing field for member-owned co-operatives and mutuals is good news for competition and consumer choice in banking and financial services,” COBA CEO Mark Degotardi said.

“We are delighted that Labor recognises that millions of Australians are already members of co-operatives and mutuals, in healthcare, agriculture and financial services, and that our business model is driving innovation and competition in the economy.

“The customer-owned banking sector alone has 4 million customers. Credit unions, mutual banks and building societies collectively have total assets of $99 billion.

“The customer-owned banking sector has market-leading customer satisfaction but we don’t have a level playing field. Labor is now promising to do something about it.

“Labor’s announcement today by Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen and Senate Economics Committee chair Senator Chris Ketter points to the March 2016 Senate report on mutuals and its 17 recommendations for reform.

“This Senate report delivered a blueprint for policymakers to embrace a business model where customer interests are not in conflict with shareholder interests.

“The report acknowledges that the customer-owned model has not had a fair go in regulatory frameworks that are set up to deal with listed companies.

“A healthy, vigorous retail banking market needs strong customer-owned banking institutions. Diversity of business models is good for the economy, good for stability and good for Australian consumers.

“COBA is seeking a fair go and a level playing field in regulatory capital settings, a new commitment by regulators to prioritise competition, and competitively neutral tax treatment,” Degotardi said.

For more information please contact:
Luke Lawler, Head of Public Affairs
02 8035 8448 or 0418 213 025, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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