Media Releases

Customer-owned banks welcome introduction of Regulatory Grid


The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) and its members are pleased to welcome the Government’s decision to introduce a Financial Sector Regulatory Initiatives Grid following extensive advocacy by COBA.

In today’s announcement, Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones formally thanked COBA for its work in helping shape the reform. The Regulatory Grid will bring major financial services regulators together to schedule regulatory change, creating benefits across the whole financial services sector including greater transparency and the ability to better plan and allocate resources.

COBA CEO Mike Lawrence said: “We are delighted to see the Government press ahead with an Australian Financial Sector Initiatives Regulatory Grid. This will allow customer-owned banks to better forecast staffing and resource requirements, plan for regulatory change, and better compete with larger banks. We all know that a competitive banking market benefits all Australians and creates a more dynamic finance industry.”

As part of a submission on behalf of COBA’s 55 members to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics inquiry into promoting economic dynamism, competition and business formation, COBA highlighted the challenges customer-owned banks must navigate in the face of increasing regulatory requirements, with smaller banking institutions finding it more difficult and expensive to navigate a fragmented and uncoordinated regulatory landscape.

“The relatively small size of some customer-owned banks compared to their shareholder-owned counterparts makes it harder to keep up with the tsunami of regulatory change we are seeing in the financial services sector. This impacts their ability to compete and is key to why we have been advocating for this initiative for a number of years. We look forward to working with the Government on the design to make sure that the Regulatory Grid delivers productivity, transparency and accountability benefits,” Mr Lawrence said.

”Significant regulatory change will continue as the risk environment becomes more complex and dynamic. The introduction of a Regulatory Grid means better coordination and mapping of regulation, which will help banks and credit unions manage this burden and maintain critical investments in customer-focused initiatives,” he added.

COBA looks forward to further discussions and collaboration with the Government and regulators to ensure the customer-owned banking sector can thrive, providing increased competition and strong, innovative banking solutions for consumers in Australia.

Mike Lawrence said: “The customer-owned sector is essential to keeping Australian banking competitive, and ensuring customers have options when it comes to first-class service and products. COBA will continue to advocate for more recognition of the customer-owned banking sector overall, and the diversity of banking business models.”

For further information, please contact media@coba.asn.au.

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