Does Australia still need the big banks?

Does Australia still need the big banks?

Not long ago, even when Bill Gates famously said “Banking is necessary, banks are not”, the answer to this question was a definite yes. But now? It’s not so clear.

ANZ’s Bluenotes hosted a debate at it’s Melbourne HQ pitting tech experts and bankers against each other to answer just this question: Are banks still required?

Watch experts above and read the full debate at ANZ Bluenotes here.

Technically (we argued) the answer is no. While difficult, the technology does exist that would allow anyone to ditch their bank for good.

On top of this, the Royal Commission has changed how we all see the banks. They are necessary, but the trust that they will do the right thing has been broken.

Arguing we don’t need banks, ANZ GM of Group Services Nigel Adams said while trust is fundamental to the role of banking: “Trust arrives on a tortoise and leaves on a hare.”

“Recent revelations have caused customers to look for alternatives and have forced them away from institutions which provided that trust in the past,” he said.

“The banks, or whoever provides these financial services, will need to think differently; act differently; behave differently.

“I’m not sure the current banks can respond in time. I hope they prove me wrong.”

But the opposing side led by ANZ’s Pricing Operations Expert, Heang Forbe was steadfast in its belief that:

“New players don’t have the scale, the infrastructure nor the capital and the data that banks have and it’s arguable whether they have the means or the appetite to obtain the banking licence necessary to play such a role in society.”

Stone&Chalk Melbourne GM Alan Tsen backed her arguments saying:

“Banks have the trust that they will be around today, they will be around tomorrow, they will be around more than likely in a century. But how they operate, what they actually do, the core of their business is what will change.”

So, do we need the banks? Check out the full debate at Bluenotes or join the debate on Facebook.

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