The Australian Consumers Association (CHOICE) has called on the Australian Consumer Competition Commissions (ACCC) to reject the proposed merger between St George and Westpac.
Submissions for third-party comment on the proposed merger between Australia’s third and fifth largest banks closed yesterday.
CHOICE stated that the $18 billion deal would stifle competition amongst lenders, reduce customer service levels and increase fees for customers.
“The proposed merger of Westpac and St George will substantially increase the already high market share of the Big Four, eroding competition across the sector. All consumers will be affected because all banks will have less incentive to deliver better deals to their customers,” CHOICE said
CHOICE also said that action should be taken to allow customers to switch banks more easily through improved regulation on customer penalisation.