Saturday, February 09, 2008

Actually, Swan flogs the banks... with a damp lettuce

The Treasurer says he wants his new “listing and switching” system to make the banking system work for Australian families rather than against them. It scarcely begins to do that.

Sure, it will help if our regular deductions and credits can be smoothly transferred when we change banks.

But what about the daunting steps we will still have to face before that stage?...

Proving our identity all over again, providing to the new bank all the guff
we provided to the old one outlining our employment history, our salary, our
superannuation status, our banking history and the like, getting our
property revalued, paying for a copy of the title and so on, and so on.

If Mr Swan thinks that transferring deductions and credits are the only
things stopping Australians switching between mortgage providers, I invite
him to try all of the other steps. Starting now. Over the next few weeks.
Let’s see how much of his ministerial time it takes up.

And lets see whether he would actually do it in order to shave perhaps 0.5
per cent off the cost of his mortgage, with no guarantee that the rates won’
t change again removing the cost advantage while the cost is underway.

Australians have good reasons for not “voting with their feet” on mortgages
and the banks know it.

They’ll still know it after this morning’s well-intentioned but limited