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Australian Government Makes Bank Switching Easier
Source: radioaustralianews.net.au
Source Date: Monday, December 13, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Country: Australia
Created: Dec 13, 2010

The Australian Government's banking competition package has won widespread backing, but there are warnings that some elements could hurt smaller lenders.

The package is aimed at making it easier to switch banks so exit fees on new home loans will be scrapped from next July.

But the bankers association says exit charges are legitimate and banning them will cost smaller players.

Mr Swan's asked for a study into whether Australia could be the first country in the world with portable account numbers - making moving to another lender really simple.

But the association says that would also cost small institutions making them less competitive.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Housing Industry Association both say the plan will help boost competition.

The Opposition says it lacks substance and the Greens will try to force the Government to add scrapping ATM fees to the package.

Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey says some initiatives are good, but Mr Swan could have done more.

That's why we called for a proper systemic review, that's why we offered alternatives that Mr Swan hasn't picked up on, some of them he has good luck to him for doing so, we'll support parts of this package but I tell you what we are going to keep Wayne Swan to his promise that this is going to reduce interest rates and reduce bank fees.
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