| 22.01,12. 01:18 AM |
ACCC says more banks should open in Australia
Sun January 22, 2012
CONSUMER watchdog Rod Sims has warned the big four banks the ACCC will use its powers to ensure they do not collude on rates to muscle out competitors.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chief said more foreign banks should open up business in Australia to put pressure on the local institutions and force them to offer better deals to customers.
He said Australians paid too much because of a lack of effective competition and warned banks against collusion to keep rivals out.
"If we can see any behaviour by the banks that is preventing competition, any misuse of market power or any collusive agreements, we will move," he said.
"Normally four players in a market should lead to a lot of competitive activity. In the banking sector it seems to need more because even though there are four of them there is a lack of full and effective competition."
Mr Sims encouraged foreign banks to open in Australia to challenge the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ and National Australia Bank.
"I think the four of them feel they are protected from others entering the market and that makes for arrangements that are too cosy for consumers," Mr Sims said.