Account switching must be easier, say lobbyists

The federal government must make it easier for consumers to switch accounts between banks if the sector is to become more competitive, a lobby group has said.

According to the Australian Financial Integrity Network (AusFIN), whose members include consumer group Choice, the ACTU, Finance Sector Union and the Consumer Action Law Centre, making account switching easier is vital if the government is to create a proposed "fifth pillar" in banking that would see building societies and credit unions gain a greater market share.

Speaking to the AAP, Nicole Rich of the Consumer Action Law Centre noted that European countries had developed principles for account switching which are better than the current facilities available in Australia.

"We can create the best fifth pillar that's possible in Australia but if consumers can't take advantage of the better deals that are out there and switch their account to those new options, they're not going to do so," she said.

Better options for account switching might encourage more Aussies to compare savings accounts and other money products in search of the best deals. The "fifth pillar" plan for the non-bank sector comes as the government seeks to break the dominance of the big four banks.

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