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Government welcomes RBA/ACCC credit card study.

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NO. FSR/066


The Minister for Financial Services & Regulation, Joe Hockey, has welcomed the joint Reserve Bank of Australia and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission study on the ATM, credit card and debit card payment networks in Australia, released today.

The Minister stated he will write to the banks seeking an explanation on the issues raised in the report.

"The report is a detailed study of a complex set of competition, pricing and access issues within the payments system. It raises some serious issues that go to the efficiency of the financial services sector, that need to be considered further in consultation with industry and consumers," the Minster said.

"Australia's banks are now on notice that they must be able to justify to their customers the fees they charge for using credit card and debit cards.

"The report should serve to better inform the public and to further debate about interchange fee arrangements."

The Minister also said that report was done as a further part of its Wallis Inquiry into the Financial System and that some of the issues raised in the report are already being addressed by the regulatory agencies.

"The ACCC is discussing with financial institutions the joint setting of credit card interchange fees and has started legal action on this matter. ASIC is now reviewing the transparency of ATM charges as part of an updating of the EFT Code of Conduct."

The Payments System Board of the Reserve Bank will also be considering options to address the issues raised.

10 October 2000

Media contact: Matthew Abbott, Minister's office, 02 6277 7230, 0413 076 213


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