12 Jul 2009

Australian government not ruling out banking inquiry

1:58 pm on 12 July 2009

The Australian government has not ruled out a review of whether a "people's bank" is needed to provide more competition.

A group of six influential economists has written to the government calling for an inquiry into the nation's financial system.

They are worried about the power of the big four banks, and suggest the government set up a "basic bank" that would allow Australians to deposit money through Australia Post and that would be managed by the Future Fund.

Australia's Financial Services Minister Chris Bowen said there were issues around competition.

"We wouldn't rule out a review at an appropriate time," Mr Bowen told the Ten Network on Sunday.

However, he said the financial system and the big banks were working well in the financial crisis, and the government's focus was on getting through that crisis.