Royal Commission shouldn’t derail competition reform: COBA

The Customer Owned Banking Association has called for the implementation of pro-competitive reform in retail banking to continue during the Royal Commission into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry.

COBA CEO Michael Lawrence said that the Royal Commission will rightly focus on misconduct and should look at the areas of greatest consumer concern, but there is no need to interrupt the implementation of pro-competitive reform.

“The long-term solution to concerns about misconduct in the banking market is action to promote sustainable competition,” Mr Lawrence said.

“Our business model is fundamentally different to the listed banks because our customers are our owners and therefore the customer comes first. This is reflected in our sector’s market-leading customer satisfaction ratings.”

The mutual sector has four million customers and $110 billion in total assets, Mr Lawrence said. He believes that customer-owned banks bring “unmatched customer focus” to the retail banking market.

The CEO said: “Our sector will be able to compete even more effectively with [the] implementation of the Hammond Review reforms that have been endorsed by the government.

“We particularly welcome measures to improve our sector’s capacity to raise capital. Greater capacity for customer-owned banking institutions to raise capital will increase their potential to grow, take opportunities and invest in technology.”

[Related: Mutuals lend $83.4bn in 2017]

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