Banking & finance

ACCC commences inquiry into foreign exchange

Sending money overseas, and buying foreign cash, will be the focus of a new ACCC inquiry into foreign currency conversion services.

“Whether you’re buying Euros from your bank for an upcoming trip, sending money to family in Indonesia, or you’re a small business trading with suppliers in New Zealand, foreign exchange services are used by Australians every day,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

Issues paper

On 2 October 2018, the ACCC released an issues paper for its inquiry into foreign currency conversion services. The ACCC is seeking feedback on a range of issues, including pricing, costs, barriers to entry, and other factors affecting competition in the sector.

Consumer data right

On 26 November 2017, the Australian Government announced the introduction of a consumer data right in Australia. The consumer data right will improve consumers’ ability to compare and switch between products and services. It will also encourage competition between service providers, leading not only to better prices for customers but also more innovative products and services.

Mortgage pricing not strongly competitive

The opaque pricing of discounts offered on residential mortgage rates makes it difficult for customers to make informed choices and disadvantages borrowers who do not regularly review their choice of lender, a report by the ACCC has found.

The ACCC’s Residential Mortgage Price Inquiry is monitoring the prices charged by the five banks affected by the Government’s Major Bank Levy: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Macquarie Bank Limited, National Australia Bank Limited (NAB), and Westpac Banking Corporation.

Opening statement at the PC public hearing into Competition in the Australian Financial System

The ACCC welcomes the Productivity Commission’s (Commission) draft report into Competition in the Australian Financial System and the opportunity to appear at this hearing.

Among the Commission’s recommendations was the need for an existing regulator to be given the role of championing competition in the financial sector. The Commission anticipates that regulator would have a number of functions including, but not limited to, conducting transparent analyses of the impact on competition in the financial sector of prudential regulation and other regulatory measures.