The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

15 February 2011

Doorstop Interview

Gold Coast

15 February 2011

SUBJECTS: Bank Competition

JOURNALIST:

Mr Swan, just a quick question on the big banks having a dispute over their fees, trying to monopolise each other's customers.

TREASURER:

I think it's terrific to see the NAB throwing down the gauntlet to the other big banks. It's about time they had a scrap, it's about time we saw a bit of competition. And largely I think this is coming about because the Government has put a package out there, which encourages competition. We need to see more competition.

JOURNALIST:

What do you think has prompted it?

TREASURER:

I think it's largely been prompted by the Government's package, which was brought down at the end of last year. We put some real markers in the ground and now we're starting to see some competition coming in the sector. I don't mind seeing a scrap between the banks. We need to see more competition between these big banks and the NAB has thrown down the gauntlet.

JOURNALIST:

[inaudible] line in the advertising that the banks may have been colluding all of this time on things like interest rates?

TREASURER:

Well, as you know the Government has put forward a package of measures. One of those measures is to take some action on price signalling. The Government made it very clear at the end of last year we're serious about these reforms. They're important and they're needed.

JOURNALIST:

Would you like to see more of it?

TREASURER:

I'd like to see more of it, a lot more of it.