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Thursday, 29 May 2003
Page: 15549


Ms Burke asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 28 May 2002:

(1) Has the Government undertaken any studies into the maintenance of Australia's 4 pillars policy in relation to banks, if so, what was the outcome of those studies.

(2) What is the Government's view on the application of the 4 pillars policy.


Mr Costello (Treasurer) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) and (2) The Government's objective behind the `four pillars' policy is to ensure there is adequate competition in the financial industry, particularly in respect of small business lending.

The Government is not satisfied that competition has advanced far enough to consider altering the policy.

The `four pillars' policy will be reviewed when the Government is satisfied that competition from new and established participants in the financial industry, particularly in respect of small business lending, has increased sufficiently.