Big Four banks control 92% of the home loan market.
Article by Kevin Boyle
Many Australians are unhappy at the lack of competition in the Australian banking sector and the Big Four's dominance on products such as home loans.
However, a new survey of 1000 people held by Abacus, has revealed that many Australians are not aware to what extent the Big Four's hold actually reaches. Just 53 percent of Australians were aware that Westpac took over St.George bank in 2008, 36 percent knew the CBA owns Bankwest, 21 percent were aware the NAB owns UBank and only 14 percent knew that RAMS is controlled by Westpac. Also revealed was that many people believe the Big Four banks own up to 70 percent of home loans on the market. But in reality the Big Four own up to 92 percent of all new home loans.
The survey, held by an industry representative of credit unions and mutual banks called Abacus, is in conjunction with their new website, BalanceBanking.com.au. Launched today, the site is aimed at creating awareness of the Big Four's hold on the Australian banking sector.
"Australians are angry about the dominance of the major banks," said Abacus CEO Louise Petchler. "In an election year, consumers are demanding politicians deliver a better banking deal for Australians."
The site claims that changes to Government regulations during the GFC, intended to promote consumer confidence, have benefitted the Big Four at the expense of credit unions, building societies and mutual banks.
Visitors to the website can sign a petition, where Abacus is calling for an independent inquiry into the Australian banking sector and the Big Four's profits. Those unhappy with their banks for not passing on full rate cuts to home loans or searching for better returns on their savings accounts and term deposits should consider making the simple switch to a customer focused lender, such as a credit union or mutual bank.
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