Bankmecu has welcomed confirmation that the ACCC will examine the “competitive effects” of CBA’s plans to increase its ownership of Aussie.
The lender’s acting CEO, Robert Allen, said the proposed acquisition further illustrated the need for greater transparency when it comes to multi-brand strategies being pursued by the country’s major banks.
“There is growing concern that the major banks are creating a veneer of competition through their ownership of various sub-brands, such as Aussie Home Loans,” he said.
“In a letter to Treasurer Wayne Swan in December, bankmecu called on the federal government to deliver on its promise to increase competition and choice in banking for Australian consumers and we look gorward to learning the treasurer’s views on this important issue.”
Mr Allen said he’d like to see the government require banks to prominently disclose ownership of wholly-owned subsidiary sub-brands in their advertising.
“All Aussie Home Loans’ advertising should make it clear to consumers that their majority owner is the Commonwealth Bank.
“These facts will better enable consumers to make informed decisions about their banking.
“In fact, a survey of more than 1,000 Australians conducted by bankmecu earlier in the year showed 74 per cent would support requiring banks which are wholly owned by other banks to disclose their ownership in their advertising.
“This is another simple step government can take to deliver on its promise to ensure that there is greater competition in the Australian banking market,” Mr Allen said.