Consumers are banking on reform22 Feb 11 02:08PM EST |
Today the government released emails containing advice on banking reform given to the Treasurer Wayne Swan last October. The advice from officials repeats banking industry concerns about proposals to scrap exit fees and introduce portable bank account numbers - two key reforms strongly supported by CHOICE.
The concerns state that scrapping exit fees on home loans could lead to the banks raising other fees, such as application fees, or increasing interest rates.
What's missing from today's story is that the regulator, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, has since promised to tackle any banks that simply shift exit fees to other mortgage fees. And four months later we already have banks fighting a mini-war for mortgage customers, with major lenders offering new discounts or cutting exit fees.
The key to driving a more competitive banking sector is to make it easier for people to switch to cheaper home loans and better everyday bank accounts. That's why CHOICE believes the Treasurer was right to back consumers and press ahead with these reforms.
Do you support banking reform? Would you switch home loan providers if you didn't have to pay an exit fee?