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ANZ can't keep its snout out of the trough: Costello does nothing.

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Senator Stephen Conroy

Deputy Opposition Leader in the Senate Shadow Minister for Finance, Small Business & Financial Services

20th February 2003

ANZ Can’t Keep Its Snout Out of the Trough Costello Does Nothing

ANZ claims that the RBA’s credit card reforms may force it to triple all annual credit card fees sets a new benchmark for naked bank greed.

There is no justification whatsoever for an increase in credit card fees in response to the Reserve Bank’s credit card reforms and the ANZ bank knows it.

The cut in the credit card interchange fee announced last September was intended to generate annual savings of at least $400 million.

These cuts should have benefited all credit card customers.

When the reforms were announced, Labor warned the Government that banks would seek to recoup lost revenue by jacking up credit card and other bank fees and the ACCC should be granted surveillance powers to ensure savings get to consumers.

Mr Costello refused to act.

Soon after the ANZ Bank said it would only pass one-third of the savings to customers.

Once again Peter Costello refused to act. He said in Parliament that the ANZ had told him “categorically” they would not raise fees.

The ANZ is now trying to blame the RBA’s reforms as an excuse to keep its snout in the trough, making a fool of Mr Costello.

If the Treasurer fails to write to the ACCC granting them surveillance powers over the implementation of credit card reforms, the other banks will follow suit and reforms that were intended to benefit customers will simply end up pushing the banks’ record profits ever higher.

Further information: Stephen Conroy: 0418 383 965 Jane McGill: 0402 11 22 55