Thursday 27th of February 2020

Time for the government to open up competition in the banking sector!

The recent decision by CBA to withold 0.17% of the 0.75% interest rate drop by the RBA has underpinned the requirement for the banking sector in Australia to be opened up and made more competitive.

I have read numerous statements by treasurer Wayne Swan that the government will ensure that the banking sector is made more competitive by allowing borrowers to switch banks easily to encourage competition between banks. Well guess what - it's time to deliver on that promise!!

Currently working families are held captive by whichever bank has their mortgage - due to ludicrously high 'switching fees' - which effectively make it impossible to switch banks, even if you feel you are being ripped off by your bank. These switching fees were very cleverly included in mortgage agreements and basically guarentee the banks that the client will stay with them indefinately, or at least for a number of years, or lose thousands upon thousands of dollars in switching fees. So basically once they have you they can do what they like to you in terms of interest rates, fees and charges.

The government should OUTLAW these switching fees with immediate effect so that clients can move their mortgages to banks who offer better rates. Then banks such as Commonwealth will think twice before hogging parts of interest rate cuts to further stuff their bloated coffers.

It's also high time that the government remove the onerous obsticles placed in the path of overseas banks who could (and want to) enter the Australian arena and offer some very much needed genuine competition for the so-called "big 4" who appear more and more to be operating like a cartel.

A note to Mr Swan - talk is cheap - the banks are clearly not intimidated by your statements - so its time for action!