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Big bank takeovers must stop



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Adam Bandt 

Federal Member for Melbourne    23 June 2011   

Big bank takeovers must stop: Bandt    Amendments to prevent the big four banks from acquiring smaller lenders are due to be  moved in Parliament today by Greens MP and banking spokesperson Adam Bandt.    Mr Bandt’s changes to the Competition and Consumer Legislation Amendment Bill will  ensure the ACCC will prevent mergers such as Westpac’s takeover of St George.    “Australia has one of the most concentrated banking sectors in the world and it is killing  competition for consumers.”    “The Australian banking market is the most concentrated it has been for a century.”    “In 2007 the big four had a 68% market share of the home loan market. Now the big four  banks hold around three quarters of Australia’s deposits and assets and 88% of home  loans.”    “This amendment will ensure that the big four are not able to take down their competitors  by swallowing them up.”    “It will be good for competition and good for consumers.”    “We support an end to price signalling by the big banks, but strengthening the powers of  the ACCC on signalling will do little to help competition and nothing about the growing  concentration in the sector.”    In 2008 Westpac took over St George Bank. At the time St George was Australia’s fifth  largest bank and the Commonwealth Bank bought BankWest, making the Commonwealth  Bank the dominant bank in Western Australia.    The Competition and Consumer Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 is scheduled to be debated  today.    Information: Damien Lawson 0487 900 005    Amendment below   

Competition and Consumer Legislation Amendment

Bill 2011

(Amendment to be moved by Mr Bandt)

(1) Schedule 1, after item 2, page 3 (after line 7), insert:

2A After subsection 95AC(1) Insert: (1A) The Commission must not grant a clearance to a body corporate that is, or is related to: (a) National Australia Bank Limited; or

(b) Commonwealth Bank of Australia; or (c) Westpac Banking Corporation; or (d) Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited; to acquire shares in the capital of a body coporate that is an ADI or non-ADI lender for the purposes of the Banking Act 1959, or is the holding company of such a body corporate.

2B After subsection 95AT(1) Insert: (1A) The Tribunal must not grant a clearance to a body corporate that is, or is related to: (a) National Australia Bank Limited; or

(b) Commonwealth Bank of Australia; or (c) Westpac Banking Corporation; or (d) Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited; to acquire shares in the capital of a body coporate that is an ADI or non-ADI lender for the purposes of the Banking Act 1959, or is the holding company of such a body corporate.

[No merger or aquisition approvals for major banks]    Damien Lawson    Strategy and Communications Adviser  Office of Adam Bandt MP  Federal member for Melbourne  T: 03 9642 0922 M: 0487 900 005 F: 03 942 0599  www.adambandt.com