New poll calls for FSI action: COBA

A new poll reveals most Australians have little trust in the major banks, suggesting the need to implement the Financial System Inquiry’s (FSI) recommendations.

The Essential Research poll, commissioned by the Customer-Owned Banking Association (COBA), found that 90 per cent of the 1,000 respondents regard trust as the most important issue in banking, followed by ethical conduct at 87 per cent.

Despite this, just 7 per cent stated they had a high degree of trust in the big four banks, while 11 per cent said they had no trust in financial advisers.

According to COBA, implementing the FSI recommendations is a way to combat the trust issue and see Australians seek greater financial advice.

“There’s clearly tremendous consumer appetite for trusted and ethical financial services,” COBA chief executive Mark Degotardi said.

“The polling shows consumers want financial advice they can trust and clearer product information.”

Of the FSI outcomes, 83 per cent of consumers want easier-to-understand information, while 79 per cent want fairer rules for smaller institutions.

“There’s a clear message here that consumers want implementation of the FSI blueprint,” Mr Degotardi said.

“The FSI report noted the breakdown of trust in large parts of the financial services sector. The report makes recommendations to promote the fair treatment of consumers, to improve efficiency and build confidence and trust in the financial system.”

Mr Degotardi noted that the FSI blueprint is pro-competition as well as pro-consumer, and will tackle anti-competitive distortions that benefit the big banks.

“Australians are looking to the government to implement the recommendations of this important report,” he concluded.

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Emma Ryan

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