The Australian government has been threatening to make it easier for customers to switch banks and have announced their solution goes live today.
I don't know about the timing, seeing nearly everyone has done a runner and switched their money to mainly Commbank, Westpac and National for some reason, that is except those thousands with their funds frozen in other bank owned investment vehicles.
The press release from Wayne Swan.
Today the Rudd Government is pleased to announce a package of measures to make it easier for Australians to switch banks if they are not satisfied with their current provider.
This shows how determined we are to make the banking system work for Australian families and not against them.
There are currently too many administrative and other obstacles Australians confront if they want to change banks, and we are addressing that.
That's why we have developed these four bank switching initiatives after intensive consultation with regulators, banks, credit unions, building societies and consumer groups, which includes:
- A listing and switching service that requires banks to provide their customers with accurate information on all direct debits and credits to take to a new bank for easier transferral, if they switch. Banks will also be required to assist new customers to
re-establish their direct debits and credits;
- One single consumer complaints hotline 1300 300 630 providing a first contact point for all consumer complaints about basic banking products – to be provided and maintained by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission;
- Comprehensive consumer education resources, including a detailed and informative web site providing advice on how to switch, and the costs and benefits of doing so, through the
www.understandingmoney.gov.au site; and
- An ASIC-led industry review of entry and exit fees that apply to mortgage accounts, shining a light on fees, putting downward pressure on them, and providing better information to consumers to inform their switching decisions.
Implementation will begin immediately, and all aspects of the switching package will be finalised by November 2008.
This means the listing and switching service will be operational in the coming weeks, in an interim form that involves banks providing written advice and support until IT systems allow full implementation by November 2008.
That'll teach 'em..