Sector News

Unlocking the competitive potential of the customer-owned banking sector


Customer owned banks have a long and proud history of helping Australians achieve their financial dreams. Over 4.5 million members are proud to do business with a mutual bank, credit union or building society that puts people and purpose before profit.

Our Policy Agenda sets out a plan to unlock the competitive potential of the customer-owned banking sector and ensure banking works in the interests of all Australians. It also outlines our vision for a safer, stronger, and more prosperous future through better regulation, better investment in disaster resilience, and a stronger and more coordinated approach to dealing with scams and cybercrime.

It also highlights the unintended consequences regulatory change can have on some of the most important financial institutions to regional Australia. Customer owned banks are part of the fabric of local communities around the country, and more than half are headquartered regionally.

The agenda builds the case for:

  • Better outcomes through coordinated regulatory change
  • Proportionate regulation for a more competitive banking market
  • The review and modernisation of consumer credit legislation
  • Recognition of the mutual model in regulator mandates
  • Fairer tax treatment across the banking sector
  • Greater investment in disaster resilience, and
  • Coordinated action to counter cybercrime and scam activity.

“The importance of the customer-owned banking sector cannot be understated, yet it is often caught up in regulatory intervention designed for the big four banks,” COBA CEO, Michael Lawrence, said.

Read COBA’s policy agenda.

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