ACCC should monitor bank fees: ACA

The Australian Consumers' Association has called for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to be given powers to monitor bank fees, with customers nominating this issue as a particular source of discontent. The ACA's latest survey of bank customers showed that more than a third of respondents were dissatisfied with the Big Four banks.

The ACA survey of banks is undertaken every two years. This year, 3,800 consumers were quizzed, with the results showing a widening gap between customer expectations and bank performance. 67 per cent of respondents were dissatisfied with their banks' performance, saying the banks are more interested in profits than service. 77 per cent want the Federal Government to monitor fees, which were a major source of complaint.

The ACA said the number of people stating they were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the Big Four banks has fallen from 70 per cent in 2000 to 54 per cent this year.
The Australian Bankers' Association responded to the ACA survey results, published in its “Choice” magazine, by saying that banks' performance has improved.

The ABA's CEO David Bell accused the ACA of “misleading” its readers, arguing that if one-third of customers are unhappy then two-thirds must be satisfied. He intends to contact the Australian Consumers' Council, as he is concerned about the methodology used in the survey and the way the results were interpreted.