These banking boots are made for walking
WILL anyone switch banks, super funds, insurers, mortgage brokers or financial advisers after learning many of them have ripped us off ?
What will it take for customers to get off their rear ends and jump ship, signalling they’ve had a gutful?
The recommendations in Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s final report – after 68 days of hearings, 134 witnesses and 10,000 public submissions – called out the disgraceful antics, robbery and sheer greed of many of those we trusted to handle our money.
Don’t think this thievery is about to stop. It will continue to happen, despite the grilling and head-rolling that has occurred over the past year.
After asking many of my friends and colleagues if any of them will bother to switch providers in protest – even if they didn’t get directly dudded – the answer is a firm “No. I can’t be bothered”.
And this here is the very heart of the problem.
We simply do not vote with our feet.
Australians are typically a lazy bunch when it comes to finance.
The country is dominated by the big four banks.
More than 80 per cent of owner-occupier loans are with them and they also have about 85 per cent of investor loans.
The tales of ripping off innocent, hardworking Australians were tear-jerking, to say the least.
One of the worst was hearing a 26-year-old man with Down syndrome try to remove himself from a substandard Freedom Insurance policy he’d been conned into getting.
The young man received pocket money from his parents to try to help him have some independence and these greedy cowboys robbed him of his cash.
It took his father to get involved and months of hard work to get him out of the policy.
How could these banks charge customers fees and give absolutely nothing in return? Sheer robbery.
I’m pleased to say I don’t bank with the big four.
I have in the past but I’m happy to switch banks at any time if I feel they are dudding me.
Sadly, many others cannot be bothered and don’t know enough about their financial products to work out if they are getting ripped off.
If the horror stories of the past year don’t prompt customers to take action, in my view, nothing will.
No matter what recommendations of Mr Hayne’s are legislated – and it looks likely to be all 76 of them – customers will continue to get dudded.
Those in the financial services industry are not going to become crystal clean all of a sudden.
So it’s up to consumers to take control. Phone your bank, broker, financial adviser or insurer and don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.
Find out what fees and charges you are paying, at the very least.
Hunt around, go
online and see if you can get a better deal elsewhere. These fat-cat banks will never care as much about your hardearned cash as you will. It’s up to you to take control, not them. @sophie elsworth
One of the worst was hearing a 26-year-old man with Down syndrome try to remove himself from a substandard Freedom Insurance policy he’d been conned into getting