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Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has welcomed the establishment of a Senate Inquiry that will examine cases of wrongdoing in the banking and financial services sector.

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant. This inquiry gives us a chance to shine a light on the anti-consumer practices that are riddled throughout the banking system,” says CHOICE Head of Campaigns and Policy Erin Turner.

“From consumers being pressured to take out unaffordable home loans to people who are still picking up the pieces after receiving dodgy financial advice, this inquiry will look at all the ways the financial sector can leave people in financial ruin.

“Although the banks have been quietly running their own reviews into the harm they’ve caused consumers, it’s still unclear if these internal reviews will lead to real change.

“Unlike the banks’ internal reviews, a Senate inquiry will give consumers and a voice and an opportunity to share their very personal stories of suffering and hardship inflicted by these massive financial institutions.

“After so many bank scandals it’s time to show politicians the real human and financial impact that occurs when banks put their profits well ahead of their customers.”

CHOICE would also like to see the inquiry look at the impact of vertical integration within the banking sector.

“Australia’s big four banks are behemoths – they no longer stick to basic banking services but run payment services, own financial advice empires, own major mortgage broker businesses and provide superannuation services,” Ms Turner says.

“While there have been a number of reviews into the financial sector over the last few years, no review has properly considered how the banks expansion into wealth, advice, broking and superannuation have impacted customer outcomes.”

This was sourced from a media release published by consumer advocacy organisation CHOICE

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