Banks to alert customers to rates changes amid reforms

Banks to alert customers to rates changes amid reforms

The government has announced a range of changes to banking products partly aimed at making it easier to switch providers for home loans and savings accounts.

Banks will be required to tell customers when the interest rate on their savings accounts changes.

Another of the reforms is designed to make it easier to switch loans by ensuring customers have “direct and easy” ways to access the forms needed to leave a mortgage.

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The greater level of communication from banks is designed to help customers find out when they could be getting a better return on their savings elsewhere.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the changes will help “customers get a better deal, including through more choice, lower prices and better services”. 

The raft of reforms is designed to boost competition among banks and comes after two inquiries by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in 2023 and 2020.

The government announced today that it was accepting changes from both inquiries.

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The government will also investigate the role of small and medium-sized banks in the economy, which have struggled to compete against the big four banks.

Speaking in Brisbane today, Chalmers announced that the government will review how smaller banks source their funding and consider whether there are ways the government can support new banks entering the market.

The rules will also improve the disclosure requirements for basic deposit accounts.

Financial comparison websites will also be targeted in the reforms, and will now be forced to better disclose their relationships with the providers of products they review.

They will also be required to be more transparent about how their product comparisons are ranked.

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