ACCC retail deposit inquiry final report

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released its Inquiry into retail deposit products final report. A Government response will be released in 2024. Background.


Its findings include:

  • Many banks offer retail deposit products, but the sector is concentrated with barriers to entry and expansion. There are 4 major banks and 6 mid-tier banks which supply 89% of retail deposits, and a long tail of smaller banks supplying the remainder.
  • New entrants and smaller competitors are constrained in how they compete for retail deposits.
  • The RBA’s recent cash rate target increases have only indirectly affected retail deposit funding costs and rates. The cash rate (often referred to as the ‘official interest rate’) is the rate paid on lending between banks in the overnight cash market. The cash rate is not paid directly by the RBA to banks, nor is it a regulated rate that banks must receive or pay.
  • Banks take a variety of approaches to how they make interest rate decisions, including the factors they take into account.
  • Consumer engagement is low and comparing products can be challenging.
  • Consumers find it difficult to switch accounts, so most do not.


The ACCC makes 7 recommendations aimed at improving outcomes for consumers and the operation of the retail deposits market in Australia.

These recommendations are:

  • Continued monitoring of prices and competition in the retail deposits market
  • Consumers should be provided with an alert if they are about to breach bonus interest rate conditions
  • Banks should be required to record and report bonus rate achievement for their products
  • Clearer disclosure of introductory interest rates and alternatives
  • Banks should tell consumers directly when they change interest rates, and prompt them to consider switching for a better rate
  • Comparison websites should be more transparent about any commercial arrangement they have with banks
  • The Australian Government should review the merits of bank account portability.

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David Jacobson

Author: David Jacobson
Principal, Bright Corporate Law
About David Jacobson
The information contained in this article is not legal advice. It is not to be relied upon as a full statement of the law. You should seek professional advice for your specific needs and circumstances before acting or relying on any of the content.

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