This is a very interesting thread.
At the moment I work for one of the big four banks, but not in banking, but in the technology side.
My personal opinion is that BRC investigation should have happened a few year ago, before things become this much of an issue.
The bankers, lending officers are rewarded based on sales. Even though I’m an employee of the bank, as far as the bankers are concerned I’m another customer. So as you’d expect, if you are going to open a new account, there’s plenty of people to help you. But for other things, there’s not much enthusiasm from the bankers side.
So, it’s same as other services in Australia. They want to get new customers, but retaining the current customers is not that important. So, as customers you should not be loyal to anyone.
There are certain products that I use and there are certain products I don’t use with my employer. Therefore, I’d recommend that everyone do their research when it comes to selecting products and services, regardless how much they are pushed by pushy salesman.
The group of people that abuse this systems the most if the mortgage brokers. I know a few people who could not get a loan directly from a bank, but went through a broker and got the loan. What the broker does it not report certain information such as dependents which the bank/lender has no way of verifying.
I have also interacted with mortgage brokers and my experience if not pleasant. All of them tried to get a loan approved for an amount more than I needed. I would imagine that’s good for their sales numbers. None of them chose the best product for me - instead went with the product that benefited them the most.
A few of my friends told me that their brokers actually asked them to refinance after a while with a different lender even though they weren’t interested. So obviously they are making more money by switching people from one lender to another. Basically they are iSelects of the mortgage world
Being said all those, we all had to undergo compliance training and it taught us about APRA regulations, anti-money laundering, conflict of interest, cartel (anti-competitive) behavior and how to identify and avoid those situations. So the bank actually wants all the employees to behave honestly and ethically. That’s one of the core message in the training.
Further more the big four banks are among the top fix tax paying companies in Australia. Additionally they employee thousands of Australians.
If you compare that to Apple, Google, Nike and other international companies who just pays peanuts compared to their earnings, I’d say banks are doing a good job.
So I hope that the BRC will hold banks accountable and honest and transparent. But I hope it will not negatively impact the stability of those because that will impact the Australian economy.