Time to Withdraw from 'Big Four'

Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia), July 9, 2009 | Go to article overview

Time to Withdraw from 'Big Four'


COFFS Coast residents agree with economic experts that the 'big four' banks are becoming too powerful.

A group of six influential economists have petitioned the Prime Minister and Treasurer to set up an inquiry into Australia's financial system and have suggested the government sets up a basic bank so Australians can deposit money with Australia Post and have it managed by the Future Fund.

New Zealand established the Kiwibank to break the domination of Australian-owned banks in that country.

The support given to major Australian banks during the global financial crisis has depressed competition from regional banks and credit unions, some of which have been absorbed by the majors.

The ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac banks increase their share of mortgage lending from 80 per cent to 92 per cent, say the economists.

They are also worried that the four banks are using their privileged access to government guarantees to expand offshore, creating possible future problems in the nation's financial system. …

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