Big Four flap wings at Swan

Commonwealth, National Australia Bank, Westpac and ANZ are lobbying treasurer Wayne Swan, pushing for greater consultation on consumer banking laws.

According to the Australian, the Big Four are particularly concerned about proposed changes to laws that will shorten the minimum length of bankruptcy from 36 months to 12 months.

Meanwhile, an insider also said there is concern that the government may look for a "social dividend" in return for guaranteeing bank term deposits and bank savings accounts provided by the Big Four.

These fears were reportedly stoked by an open letter written to the treasurer and the prime minister calling for the creation of a "people’s banks" that would offer simple term deposits and savings accounts to break the dominance of the Big Four.

The letter, written by six senior economists, warned that Australia is at risk of developing an uncompetitive and risky banking system by allowing the big banks free rein.

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