07.Melbourne community forum
Angry bank customers braved the rainy Melbourne weather on Wednesday 15 December, 2010 to speak out about their frustrations with the banking sector at CHOICE's third consumer forum into banking.
Disgruntled consumers told of being "treated like criminals" when simply wanting to make administrative changes to their own accounts, spoke about their frustrations at the detailed and overwhelming terms and conditions attached to accounts and called on the banks to treat them like real people rather than business transactions.
Leon Carter from the Financial Services Union addressed the group saying that bank staff were also frustrated at the current banking system and that they often feel their hands are tied by corporate policies and company rules when trying to assist customers.
The main concerns voiced by consumers were:
lack of competition in banking and complexity involved in switching
cumbersome detail and fine print attached to accounts
lack of responsibility shown by the big banks in lending to those who can't afford mortgages
big banks focusing efforts on attracting new customers whilst neglecting current customers
"This is a key moment in time to make effective and long lasting change," said CHOICE CEO, Nick Stace. CHOICE will continue to present consumer feedback to Bank CEOs and the Senate Inquiry. Further consumer forums on better banking will take place around the country in the new year.