Is it too late to prevent CBA and Westpac from swallowing up the second-tier?
Associate Professor Frank Zumbo, a leading competition expert from the University of NSW, thinks these banks should be stopped in their acquisition tracks.
He recently told the Senate economics committee that, even at this very late stage, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission should still ask the Federal Court to force CBA to sell BankWest, and Westpac to sell St George.
Zumbo thinks each takeover has demonstrably lessened competition in the banking sector. Do you agree with his assessment? And even if you do, isn’t his merger-stopping remedy far too radical?
The prof is even worried that the Big Four could one day become the Big Three. “My deepest concern is that there will be conversations or thought given to the ANZ and NAB merging. Yes, there’s a four-pillars policy in place prohibiting further mergers, but it is only a policy.'”
Are his worries wacky, or do you also feel that banking competition is in serious danger? Let us know your thoughts below.