The case for changes to Australia’s banking system is growing following new polling revealing Australians have little or no trust in financial advice from big four banks.

The finding was released as the Financial System Inquiry completed public hearings around the country this week.

A poll of more than 1000 Australians by Essential Research found:

  • 62 per cent have little or no trust in the big four banks to give independent financial advice;
  • 86 per cent of Australian’s think there needs a little or a lot more transparency and clarity regarding rates and fees;
  • 54 per cent of Australian’s believe there needs to be more competition in the banking market.

Acting Customer Owned Banking Association CEO Mark Degotardi said the findings show the FSI must not fly under the radar.

“Clearly people are confused and uncertain about the banking products they are investing in and the advice they are getting,” Mr Degotardi said.

“As Australians drop the kids off, do the shopping or go to work, they probably don’t think much about the FSI.”

“But this inquiry is going to set up the rules for our banking sector for the next 10-15 years so it vital that consumer views are taken into account.”

The Essential Research poll also found just 4% of people believe there needs to be less regulation.

“Big four banks dominate the market partly because they play under rules that are unfair to other competitors,” Mr Degotardi added.

“We need better regulation to compete on a more even basis, so we can serve more Australians.”

COBA will make a further submission to the FSI later this month on behalf of Australia’s credit unions, building societies and mutual banks that together represent 4 million Australian customers.