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Mutuals call for banking overhaul

by Staff Reporter7 minute read

Staff Reporter

Abacus has called for an urgent review of the Australian financial system.

The industry body which represents Australia’s mutuals addressed a Senate Committee in Sydney yesterday and argued for a well-resourced, independent inquiry into the 21st century Australian financial system.

The body said the inquiry should examine regulatory settings, performance of regulators in promoting competition, the position of the major banks, consumer perceptions about competition and choice, funding markets, and recognition of the customer-owned business model represented by credit unions, building societies and mutual banks.

At the hearing, Abacus made mention of the Deloitte Report, released earlier this week, which said Australia’s non-majors and non-bank lenders are at a “distinct disadvantage” to the big four.

According to Deloitte’s Competition in Banking report, the post GFC environment has left the major banks “too big to fail”, handing them an unfair competitive advantage and weakening the competitiveness of Australia’s banking system.

The report, commissioned by the customer owned banking sector, found the GFC swung the pendulum towards stability and away from competition.

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