A new survey shows many Australians are unaware of the true extent that the big four banks’ hold reaches.

Abacus, the initiator of the Balanced Banking campaign, surveyed 1,000 people from different walks of life and found that only 53% were aware that Westpac took over St. George bank in 2008.

The survey also found that just 36% of respondents knew that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia owns Bankwest and just 21% knew NAB owns UBank.

Similarly, just 14% of those surveyed knew that Westpac controlled RAMS.

Abacus said that many people believe the major banks own up to 70% of the home loans on the market, but the real figure is 92%.

Abacus CEO Louise Petchler said the dominance of the major banks left Australians frustrated. "In an election year, consumers are demanding politicians deliver a better banking deal for Australians."