Today in Australia’s banking headquarters, Sydney’s Martin Place, CHOICE launches ‘Move Your Money’, a new campaign aimed at helping thousands of Australians look beyond the ‘big four’ banks to save money and drive competition.
The launch of Move Your Money comes as a CHOICE investigation reveals the banks are not providing consumers with Home Loan Fact Sheets, part of the Australian Government’s banking reforms.
The CHOICE shadow shop found that only one of 18 branches visited in Sydney provided the fact sheet when asked for comparable home loan information to take away.1
Given the recent behaviour of the major banks, CHOICE says it’s time to shift the balance of power towards consumers through three simple steps:
1. Sign up:CHOICE is calling on Australians to sign the Move Your Money petition at www.choice.com.au/moveyourmoney and deliver a message to the ‘big four’ bank CEOs that enough is enough
2. Shop around:CHOICE will provide everyone who signs the Move Your Money petition with independent and trusted information on how to find a better deal on home loans, credit cards, savings and transaction accounts, including through the Compare, Ditch & Switch comparison tool and a CHOICE switching kit
3. Switch:CHOICE will share experiences from campaign supporters who find a better deal and move their money, including those who dump their ‘big four’ bank in favour of smaller institutions such as credit unions and mutuals
“The CHOICE Move Your Money campaign is about consumers standing up and saying ‘enough is enough’, sending the big four bank CEOs a message in a language they understand,” says Christopher Zinn, CHOICE director of campaigns and communications.
“With recent interest rate increases, this is a crucial time for Australians to be able to shop around, for example through Home Loan Fact Sheets, but it seems the last thing the banks want to do is help customers compare products on their merits.
“The major banks rely on perceptions that switching is too much hassle or that there are no better deals out there. But experience shows that consumers can save by also ‘thinking small’, and moving your money is now easier than before,” says Mr Zinn.
CHOICE says that Australia’s Move Your Money campaign follows the success of similar actions in the US, where over four million accounts have moved from major banks over 18 months, with another 12 million predicted to follow.2
“At the moment, the big banks are taking Australian consumers for granted. The CHOICE Move Your Money aims to change that by providing consumers with the information they need to find a better deal and switch,” says Mr Zinn.
CHOICE wants Australians to join the Move Your Money campaign by going to choice.com.au/moveyourmoney and signing the petition.
CHOICE’s Move Your Money petition has been launched through change.org, an online platform for social change. The campaign aims to build ahead of World Consumer Rights Day on 15 March 2012.
1For CHOICE’s full investigation on Home Loan Fact Sheets see choice.com.au/factsheets
2 See http://moveyourmoneyproject.org/