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Should Australia’s big four banks be allowed to merge?

Australia’s ‘four pillars policy’ currently prevents our four largest banks, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac from merging. 

But does this need to change?

Rob Nicholls, senior lecturer at UNSW Business School, says lifting the age-old policy could have benefits.

“Part of the four pillars policy actually protects those four pillars from other competition.

“Why I think the policy should go is not to promote mergers between the banks but to start to level the playing field for competitive financial service providers so that the big four aren’t treated more favourable by the other regulators.

“The level of competition between the banks is much lower than it should be.”

Ian Narev, Managing Director of the Commonwealth Bank, has told Ross Greenwood he would be open to engaging in a discussion about the four pillars policy.

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