Banking industry under pressure to be more transparent

Tuesday, 13th March, 2018

Choice has called for more transparency from the banking sector during the ongoing Royal Commission.

CONSUMER group Choice has called for more transparency from the banking industry in a scathing submission to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

In its submission, Choice called on the commission to use its special powers to compel banks, insurers and lenders to provide evidence to justify high fees and other "harmful practices".

"In the interest of openess and transparency, it is time for the banks to publicly release the evidence the Royal Commission has asked of them, in addition to responding to the information request by Choice," chief executive Alan Kirkland said.

"The banks have spent the summer holidays explaining away past misconduct and promising to do better next time."

"It's a story we've heard before- misconduct, followed by repentance, followed by more misconduct."

Mr Kirkland said the big banks had worked hard to oppose reforms that could have saved customers from excessive ATM fees, worked to overturn Future of Financial Advice reforms and attempted to prevent the royal commision.

The submission called for banks to:

  • Disclose the cost of commonly charged fees such as account keeping fees, late fees and foreign transaction fees
  • Disclose which services customers with a mortgage are receiving while brokers continue to claim commissions- potentially for the whole life of the loan
  • Disclose details of what contributes to insurance premiums
  • Disclose data being used to deny insurance to people with mental health conditions
  • Disclose any incentives financial sector staff receive for denying insurance claims
  • Disclose the number/ percentage of people on high fee older commission style products.

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