Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has unveiled his highly anticipated banking reform proposals, with a move to ban exit fees on new loans and more supporter for smaller lenders.
Swan says that exit fees on existing mortgaged will remain, although Swan claims that the ban on new loan exit fees will help stimulate competition in the sector.
Other proposals include more powers given to the ACCC to crackdown on price signalling between the banks, incentives for smaller lenders to provide more competition to the ‘big four’ and an inquiry to look at whether portable bank account numbers should be introduced.
Swan admits the measures, which follow a torrent of negative media commentary about the banks for raising rates well above the official RBA level, will be “no silver bullet” and Federal Coalition Show Treasurer Joe Hockey rated the proposals “three out of ten.”
China rates rise
Inflation in China has hit a 28-month high, leading to fears of higher interest rates. The inflation rate rose 5.1% year-on-year, fuelled by strong Chinese exports.
KFC under fire
Fast food chain KFC has caused controversy by offering Christmas gift cards worth up to $500. In what is clearly a marketing mis-step by the company, the gift cards have been attacked by health experts as aiding Australia’s obesity epidemic.