ING DIRECT has said it will not be able to remain competitive in the mortgage market if the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) goes ahead with its liquidity regulations.
Regarded as a key competitor to the big four, ING DIRECT’s chief executive Don Koch said the minimum liquidity levels proposed by APRA could hurt the bank’s ability to compete, according to The Australian.
“We agree there needs to be a standard for liquidity management, and we support the move by APRA to create the standard,” Mr Koch said.
“However, the current proposals are going to be a challenge,” he said.
Under the proposed liquidity rules, banks would be forced to hold larger quantities of liquid assets and a higher quality of liquid assets.
ING DIRECT’s primary concern is APRA’s proposed guidelines surrounding online savings – which is at the heart of the bank’s business.
“Our concern is that the current modelling proposed in the new liquidity standard indicates that an organisation that has a higher percentage of online savings accounts should have more liquidity on hand than any other equal sized organisation,” Mr Koch said.
“The endgame is that we cannot be as competitive on rates or cannot be as competitive on service because you don’t have the same numbers of staff.”