The Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action), Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) and the Financial Rights Legal Centre (Financial Rights) have welcomed the Productivity Commission’s review of competition in Australia’s financial system. We agree with the Inquiry Terms of Reference request that the review should be undertaken with a view to improving consumer outcomes. Competition in the financial system should be considered a means to deliver benefits to consumers, but not an end itself.
In order for consumers to benefit from competitive markets, they must be empowered to select products that fit their needs. Consumers depend on the availability of safe products and fair sales practices to guide their decision-making. Effective regulation that empowers consumers to select appropriate products supports healthy competition, and ensures a level playing field among competitors.170915 FINAL submission - PC Inquiry into competition in financial services