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Mutuals pressure APRA to implement capital reforms

Australia’s customer-owned banks have urged the prudential regulator to implement bank capital reforms “without delay”.

“We’ve had the debate, the independent umpire has laid down the blueprint, so let’s get on with making the banking system stronger and more competitive,” the Customer Owned Banking Association's (COBA's) acting CEO, Mark Degotardi, said of the Financial System Inquiry's (FSI's) recent recommendations.

“While some of the Murray [FSI] recommendations require a Government response and legislation, the Treasurer has rightly indicated that the capital reforms are a matter for APRA,” Mr Degotardi said.

“This takes politics out of the regulatory capital reform agenda and means the necessary changes can and should be implemented expeditiously,” he said.

Narrowing home loan risk weight differences is a key priority of the Murray Report’s recommendations to promote competition.

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The report said competition and competitive markets are at the heart of the inquiry’s philosophy for the financial system and the inquiry sees them as the primary means of supporting the system’s efficiency.

The report warned that high concentration and increasing vertical integration in some parts of the financial system have the potential to limit the benefits of competition in the future.

“The Murray Report has observed that our regulators have not focused sufficiently on competition,” Mr Degotardi said. “APRA now has a great opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to promoting competition.

“It’s time to give smaller competitors a fair go.

“Customer owned banking institutions are ready and willing to take on the major banks in home lending and other consumer banking markets," he said. “We want to reverse the trend of increasing dominance of the major banks.”

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Mutuals pressure APRA to implement capital reforms
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