23 September 2017
More than three million Australians have switched banks over the past three years with two-thirds finding it an easy process, the Australian Bankers’ Association said today.
The ABA’s submission to the Productivity Commission review into competition in Australia’s financial system shows that customers are taking advantage of competition in financial products and services.
“Australia has a competitive banking system with hundreds of providers of financial products and services, and many comparison websites at customers’ fingertips,” ABA Chief Executive Anna Bligh said.
“An ABA survey conducted by Galaxy Research shows that almost two-thirds of Australians have accounts at more than one bank, suggesting that people are shopping around to find the best deals and the right products for their needs,” she said.
“Canstar data shows there are more than 1,000 deposit products on offer, 4,000 different home loans, almost 200 business loan products and 157 credit cards.
“These products have many different features and interest rates which provide customers with great flexibility and choice. This includes fixed or variable home loans, low-fee or rewards based credit cards, and basic bank accounts for low-income earners,” Ms Bligh said.
“When it comes to home loans, customers are actively looking for and finding the best deals. Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that more than 30 per cent of all new home loans are from customers who change their mortgage provider.
“Also with credit cards, balance transfers are easy to do. Last year, eight per cent of credit card balances were a balance transfer,” she said.
“Finding better deals in financial products and services is set to get even easier as open banking evolves and customers gain access to their data to shop around,” Ms Bligh said.
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“…banks can go back to their normal processes and that is working out what’s right for every single customer, on an individual tailored basis with a proper assessment. That is the best thing for the customer.”
Access to credit opens up opportunities and fulfills aspirations. Getting it right requires the right balance between consumer protections and the flow of credit.
Interviewed by AM’s Peter Ryan, ABA CEO Anna Bligh talked about the substantial drop in loan deferrals since their peak during the pandemic, falling from 900,000 to 300,000.