Treasurer Wayne Swan is limited in what he can do to increase the
competitive pressure on the banks. He can ban exit fees, though it is
hard to see how that will achieve his goal. He can also empower the
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to cut down on price
signaling, although it is hard to see how the ACCC would have been able
to prevent the Commonwealth Bank Of Australia's recent rate hike.
Melbourne Business School economist Joshua Gans advocates the
introduction of portable bank account numbers and loan balances,
although this is a more radical proposal.