Budget key to restoring consumer confidence

The federal Budget is an opportunity for the government to support the implementation of the Financial System Inquiry blueprint, according to one industry body.

The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) said appropriate funding and resourcing is needed to properly implement the FSI’s recommendations for a more competitive and pro-consumer financial system.

COBA chief executive Mark Degotardi said the Murray report found that consumer confidence and trust needs rebuilding, and a stronger focus on consumer interests is required.

“The report warned that high market concentration and increasing vertical integration in some sectors of the financial system could limit competition in the future.

“Mortgage broking is one such area of concern, given that aggregation and broking groups [that] are totally or substantially-owned by the big four banks comprise an estimated 40 per cent of mortgage brokers,” he said.

Mr Degotardi said the FSI found that consumers often do not understand mortgage brokers’ association with product issuers and how this might limit which products they can recommend.

“The FSI said greater transparency would help build consumer confidence and trust,” he said.

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