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Words will do nothing for bank competition, only a People’s Bank will

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 30 Aug 2018

Greens Finance Spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, says there is no point in Scott Morrison repeating the exact phrase said ad nauseum by previous PMs and Treasurers past like Kevin Rudd, Wayne Swan and Joe Hockey, “If you don’t like your bank then change it.” This phrase has done nothing to help consumers in the decades it has been uttered.

Senator Hanson-Young said, “There is no competition for interest rates in banking. The ACCC knows it, the Productivity Commission knows it and unless the Government has had its head in the sand, the Government knows it too.

“The Big Four are deliberately not choosing to compete on interest rates because they know that a race to the bottom that would cut their fat profits. And for the last few decades none of them have moved and consumers lose out every time.

“Instead of continuing the long-failed strategy of chastising the banks over refusing to compete, the Government needs to provide the competition. The Greens plan for a People’s Bank would scare the hell out of the banks and provide a serious and direct threat to the major banks’ business model where the public are the winners.

“If the Government was to create a People’s Bank that offers cost-recovery savings accounts and mortgage-tracker loans pegged to the RBA cash rate, there would be an immediate cheaper option and the major banks would be forced to forgo their huge profits to maintain their market share.

“Morrison has to decide if he is full of wind, or he is willing to put the wind up the big four banks by creating a People’s Bank. Only the Greens are putting forward serious policy proposals that deal with the banks’ unwillingness to compete against each other on price.”

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