Bank of Queensland chief executive David Liddy has called on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to play a greater role in ensuring there is continuing competition in the market.
Speaking at the Annual General Meeting yesterday, Mr Liddy said competition was necessary in the market in order to keep residential and business lending strong and viable.
According to Mr Liddy, 15 years of intensifying competition in the finance sector was being reversed and Australia risked failing to learn the lessons from the US banking crisis of having institutions that were “too big to fail.”
Mr Liddy said he doubted whether Westpac would keep St George as an independent lender in the future.
“Call me sceptical, but it appears to me that the regional bank brands that have been purchased are creating a facade of competition,” he said.
“What this means however, is that there is a very clear void in the banking market - and therefore an opportunity for a real alternative to be created to be a genuine contender to the major banks.”
Mr Liddy said going into 2010, BoQ hoped to establish itself as a contender to the major banks.
“BoQ has proactive growth strategies going forward and, along with other regional banks, has a very important role to play in making sure there is competition in the Australian banking system,” he said.