Rate hikes mean ‘it’s time to regulate the banks’: FSU

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Rate hikes mean ‘it’s time to regulate the banks’: FSU

The Finance Sector Union has called on the Federal Government to immediately regulate interest rates following ANZ’s decision to increase mortgage rates by 39 basis points.

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The Finance Sector Union (FSU) has called on the Federal Government to immediately regulate interest rates, following ANZ’s decision to increase mortgage rates by 39 basis points.
 
FSU acting national secretary Wendy Streets said the ANZ decision came one day after it was confirmed that more finance jobs were heading offshore. Last week, the Commonwealth Bank put up its mortgage rates by 45 basis points, 20 more than the Reserve Bank’s increase on Melbourne Cup day.
 
‘Another round of offshoring jobs and another bank passing on an inflated interest rate rise to borrowers and still no direct intervention from the Federal Government,’ Streets said.
 
Workers and customers hurting
 
‘Bank workers and customers are hurting unnecessarily.’
 
‘You've got our four biggest banks posting a combined profit of $21 billion and paying their executives more money each year than most people would see in a lifetime, wanting to take more from the community to fund the risk they take on our behalves and the cost of funding our loans.’
 
‘At some point you've got to ask, have they got the balance right? Bank workers and customers don’t think they have,’ said Wendy Streets.
 
‘Australians want better banking.’
 
Streets said a Better Banking survey conducted by the FSU and Finsec in April this year revealed that 79% of Australians would be more likely to vote for a political party promising to increase regulation around interest rates, and 66% agreed that regulating interest rates is an issue that would influence their vote.
 
‘They want a professional finance sector they can trust, a finance sector that is well regulated, and doesn’t send jobs or personal data offshore,’ Streets said.
 
‘A finance sector that invests in skills and jobs, charges interest rates in line with the RBA and only charges fees that covers the cost of the actual service provided.’
 
Support for regulation
 
She said a recent Essential Report contained similar findings. On being asked about support for specific regulations for Australian banks:
  • 93% want banks to be required to let customers know whether their personal data was being sent to other countries for processing
  • 91% want regulation to ensure fees charged did not exceed the cost of providing a service
  • 84% want to cap CEO salaries
  • 83% want banks stopped from sending jobs offshore
  • 82% support banks being permitted to charge interest rates in line with RBA rates
  • 74% want tougher rules on providing loans and credit.
 
‘It’s time for the Federal Government to step in and increase regulation of our banking sector, for the good of bank workers and the broader community,’ Streets said.
 
‘Bank workers want better banking, bank customers want better banking, and there’s a political imperative to increase regulation of our banks. What are they waiting for? The Federal Government must act now.’
 
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