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Consumer report lashes out at majors

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Consumer group Choice has slammed the big four banks for “gouging customers” in a new report presented to the Federal Government.

In the company’s Better Banking Report, Choice calls on the government to introduce portable account numbers and remove barriers to people switching banks.

The report also said smaller banks, building societies and credit unions are offering the best banking deals, but the cost of moving accounts prevents people taking advantage of the deals.

"How can the bigger banks have the least satisfied customers?" Choice's better banking campaign director Richard Lloyd said.

"The big banks are gouging customers and offering shoddy service because they know it's too hard to change."

Abacus chief executive officer Louise Petschler welcomed the report and said Choice’s recommendations set an agenda that demands a response from industry.

“We unambiguously support Choice’s recommendation for a permanent consumer deposit guarantee as well as the removal of barriers to switching home loan products,” Ms Petschler said.

“Our market share in new owner occupier home loans has grown to almost 11 per cent in the latest official figures, compared to 6.5 per cent two years ago, so we want to see more power to consumers to shift their home loan.”

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