166 billion reasons to move your money


CHOICE says it’s time for consumers to stop giving the big four banks a big free kick

New analysis from CHOICE has found Australian consumers are giving the big four banks a free kick with an estimated $166.4 billion sitting in transaction accounts that earn little or no interest.

The People’s Watchdog says that a conservative estimate reveals consumers are unknowingly gifting the major banks over $7 billion with this ‘free’ funding which they can use to lend and earn interest.

“The big banks are singing a chorus about higher funding costs, protesting their need to pass on increased costs to consumers despite record profits,” says CHOICE head of campaigns, Matt Levey.

“But our analysis shows that the big four are sitting on an estimated $166 billion in consumer deposits which earn little or no interest, while at the same time charging us hundreds of millions of dollars in fees on everyday banking products.

“We are basically giving the banks a free kick with our money, and paying for the privilege,” Mr Levey says.

CHOICE is calling on Australian consumers to hit back by joining the Move Your Money campaign at choice.com.au/moveyourmoney and pledging to look for a better deal beyond the big four banks.

“It’s time for Australians to turn the tables on the major banks and crank up the competitive pressure,” Mr Levey says.

“The CHOICE Move Your Money campaign will send everyone who signs up a list of tips on how to look for a better banking deal on products including home loans, credit cards, savings and transaction accounts. It’ll send the big four a message they can’t ignore.”

CHOICE says consumers who have money in a no-interest account or who pay monthly account-keeping fees should move their money to an account without excessive fees and that pays interest on their balance.

“There are over 160 institutions authorised to take deposits in Australia. Many smaller institutions, including credit unions and mutuals, offer very competitive products,” says Mr Levey.

“They are covered by the same deposit guarantee as the big four banks, which means consumers can shop around with confidence.”

Media contacts:

Matt Levey, CHOICE head of campaigns – 0488 214 066

Ingrid Just, CHOICE head of media - 0430 172 669

Notes to editors:

Australians can sign onto the Move Your Money campaign at www.choice.com.au/moveyourmoney

For more details on CHOICE’s analysis of money in low-and-no-interest accounts, go to www.choice.com.au/banksfreekick

Transaction account data is for the big four banks only, and fees is based on 17 institutions.

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