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BSB 805 050

Australians want Big Banks reined in

Media release

25 Feb2014

More than three-quarters of Australians believe the big four banks have an unfair advantage which should be addressed by the Federal Government’s Financial System Inquiry (FSI).

That overwhelming support was found in a new Essential Research survey of 1000 Australians, which also showed:

  • MOST AUSTRALIANS - believe the major banks do not truly compete against each other.
  • MOST AUSTRALIANS - want stronger regulation of the major banks.
  • MOST AUSTRALIANS - want an inquiry into the dominance of the big four banks.

“These are important findings for our new Federal Government and everyone involved in the FSI,” said Peter Evers, Managing Director of People’s Choice, Australia’s second largest credit union.

“The majority of Australians are unhappy with the status quo; they don’t like the way the Big Four banks are dominating our entire financial system and they believe there should be change.”

The Federal Government has stated that the FSI, chaired by David Murray, the former Commonwealth Bank chief executive, is to be a "root and branch” examination of the nation's financial system.

“We applaud that goal but along with the roots and branches we also have to look very closely at the trunk of the Australian finance tree which is made up of those four mammoth banks,” Mr Evers said.

“We have been saying for a long time that the system isn’t fair, the major banks have too many advantages and that is stifling competition.

“At almost every turn, the playing field is tilted to entrench the dominant position of the Big Four.

“Now we have a clear message from the people of Australia – they also want something done.”

Among the key findings of the survey:

  • More than half (57%) believe there is no genuine competition between the big four banks.
  • 82% see it as important to look at whether regulation promotes or limits competition.
  • 70% say the big four need stronger regulation to limit their dominance, and a similar number say regulation should not be one size fits all.
  • There is confusion about multi-branding by the big banks with just 52% surveyed saying St George was owned by a big four bank, down to a low of just 29% for RAMS.
  • Around 80% say the customer owned sector is important part of the banking sector, provides vital services in regional communities and should be supported by the regulatory system to promote competition.

View this short infographic for a summary of the findings.

For more information on the survey, visit   

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