Two month deadline submissions to Productivity Commission inquiry
(14 July 2017 – Australia) The Productivity Commission (PC) has given Australia-based lenders two months to deliver submissions to its inquiry into competition into the financial system.
According to the PC, the inquiry will be "broad-ranging" and include examinations of access to finance for business and investment banking operations.
A consultation paper released by the Commission last week called for submissions by 15 September 2017 and said the investigation would comprise competition in banking products and services, the impact of vertically integrated business models and financial services infrastructure, including the payments system.
"This inquiry will seek to establish whether there are barriers to competition through innovation, and – where innovation does occur – whether its benefits are directed towards consumers," the commission said.
Flagging its interest in access to capital by businesses, the commission said competition across different products and markets can vary substantially and previous inquiries had indicated "the ability of some small businesses to access finance may be hampered by low levels of competition".
The commission is expecting submissions from a wide range of stakeholders including industry groups, financial institutions of all sizes, former staff and accounting groups.
In addition to retail products, the Commission’s review of business banking will extend into equipment, trade and agricultural financing, as well as foreign exchange and money markets.
Smaller domestic banks are expected to make a joint submission to the commission separate to the Australian Bankers' Association, as they did for the competition aspects of the financial system inquiry.