Banking reforms could lead to higher fees, says NAB

Tuesday 08 February 2011

Article by Mozo

National Australia Bank (NAB) has claimed that the federal government's proposed package of banking reforms could lead to customers being hit with higher fees.

Banking reforms could lead to higher fees, says NAB

Cameron Clyne, chief executive at NAB, warned that the measures to increase banking competition could end up hurting the sector, forcing banks to increase their charges as a result.

Among the initiatives included in the reform package is an aim to help consumers looking to compare home loans and other products by bolstering the position of smaller lenders, credit unions and building societies.

There are also plans to abolish mortgage exit fees and to prevent financial institutions from signalling their interest rate movements ahead of time.

Speaking to The Australian, Mr Clyne suggested that increased political and regulatory constraints could stunt growth in the banking sector, prompting fee hikes.

"The consumer desires more value and competition … as long as that remains the case the sector will be exposed to political pressures," he said.

"It's important for the banks to address these underlying issues and improve our communication around those. But political pressures could be a potential growth headwind in the near term."

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