GFC isn’t done yet, say bankers

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The Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) claims the economy is still suffering effects from the GFC. 

The ABA made the assertions yesterday in its evidence to the Senate Economics References Committee’s Inquiry in Canberra, which is investigating the effects of the crisis. 

Steven Münchenberg, chief executive of ABA, said banks had a harder time accessing funds, which impacted on their ability to supply credit to Australian households. 

He did acknowledge the impact on Australia was far less severe than on overseas markets. 

"At no point during or after the GFC has the Australian Government or taxpayers had to bail out banks, which is in stark contrast to the way banks have operated and been regulated overseas,” he said. 

On the subject of competition, he admitted the tougher conditions benefitted major banks, who had the stamina, reach and resources necessary to withstand any blows. 

“Any changes in market share have come about from economic and market circumstances, and not from a shift in the balance of market power, and certainly not from harmful practices." 

"In some cases, had a larger player or players not stepped in, we may have seen significant market failures, a loss of confidence in the Australian market and less credit available to households and businesses.”

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