Don’t punish us for Big Four’s mistakes: RACQ Bank

RACQ has distanced itself from the behaviour of the ‘Big Four’ banks which was expected to come under fire when Commissioner Kenneth Hayne handed down his final report of the Banking Royal Commission to the Federal Government.

RACQ Bank CEO Michelle Bagnall said the customer-owned banking sector operated under a very different model from the Big Four and should be considered differently when the Commissioner’s findings were deliberated.

“There are some strong contrasts between the ‘Big Four’ and customer-owned banks, like ours, and it would be a grave error to tar us with the same brush,” Ms Bagnall said.

“We don’t report to shareholders, so that means we have one interest at heart – our customers.

“Our decisions are made with people in mind, rather than profits, so our staff operating culture is very different from the others and that’s an important distinction.

“It is time people realised that, when we talk about banks, there are more than four.”

Ms Bagnall urged Parliament not to implement a one-size-fits-all approach to new regulations as it would punish customers of mutual banks, credit unions and building societies with increased costs and reduced competition.

“Customer-owned banks are not the focus of this Royal Commission and we shouldn’t pay the price for others’ poor behaviour. We’ve always operated in a responsible manner, so we need to be sure our customers are not going to be disadvantaged,” she said.

“This is the chance to hold the ‘Big Four’ to the same high standards customer-owned banks have long modelled.”

RACQ has joined the Customer Owned Baking Association (COBA) and written an open letter to Members of Parliament which could be found here.