Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Treasurer. I refer the Treasurer to his bank account switching package, which came into place on 1 November 2008. How many Australians have switched banks as a result of your package?
The introduction of that package was then followed by the global financial crisis and of course the global recession. It was also followed by a marked reduction in rates. It is true to say that in those circumstances it was not utilised strongly, for commonsense reasons. As I said before, there is no silver bullet when it comes to competition.
Opposition members interjecting—
The bank switching package was part of a range of measures which have been introduced by this government over time, including the ones I was talking about before, such as tough new laws to crack down on unfair mortgage exit fees. That is a very important reform, as are the strong reforms we are putting forward for credit cards and our $16 billion investment in AAA-rated RMBS. There are a number of other reforms, such as strengthening deposit funding for smaller lenders—that is a 50 per cent discount being phased up to $1,000 worth of interest income—and, of course, all of the bank guarantees. I think it is a comprehensive package which is going to help a lot of Australians.