Consumers deserve transparency not spin from banks


CHOICE says comments are softening up ahead of interest rate decisions

CHOICE says that Australia’s banks need to be transparent about costs they pass through to consumers instead of relying on corporate spin about risks to the economy.

Responding to statements reported today from banking industry figures, the People’s Watchdog warned that banks should not escape scrutiny of their decisions around interest rates.

“We are seeing a major softening up exercise from the banks ahead of next Tuesday’s RBA meeting,” says CHOICE head of campaigns, Matt Levey.

“Some of these statements are just ridiculous, as if to question the costs banks pass through to consumers is the same as promoting financial instability.”

CHOICE believes the statements from the banking industry are a further attempt to move scrutiny of bank interest rate decisions away from the glare of the RBA’s monthly spotlight.

“We all agree Australia needs a profitable and healthy banking sector, and it’s certainly not up to CHOICE or any other consumer group to determine bank profits,” Mr Levey said.

“But there is plenty of difference between having healthy banks and having a free kick at the expense of consumers.

“Most importantly, we need to see some measure of transparency from the banks in how they intend to make interest rate decisions.

“For example, are changes in funding costs going to be shown transparently and consistently?

“When the costs of funds decline will lending rates reduce by the same amount or will we continue to see rates that are fast to rise and slow to come down?”

CHOICE said that consumers could keep the pressure on the banks by shopping around using comparison tools like CHOICE’s Compare, Ditch and Switch.  


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