The Prime Minister is telling angry bank customers to "take their money and their business somewhere else". For your transaction and savings accounts, this is reasonably easy. If you have a mortgage, it's quite difficult.
I attempted to move our transaction accounts to the ING Direct "Orange Everyday" account. It has some very compelling features: no fees from any ATM when you withdraw $200 or more at a time, free EFTPOS cash out for any amount (and they even pay you $0.50 when you get over $200 out this way) and no monthly fees.
The thing that stopped it? Actually it was the Federal Governments anti-money laundering KYC process. I'd signed up without using Holly's middle name. Her middle name is on her identification. Australia Post would not validate the document unless it also included her middle name. Erm.
That said, the PM's suggestion has got me thinking I should try again.
Some other things I'll have to sort out:
- Automatic payments, including my mortgage and to my high-interest savings account (UBank have been the winners there for some time).
- I handle the money for our fruit and veg co-op, so everyone there will have to update the details they use.
- I'll have to learn to use a new Internet banking service.
All up, these aren't really show stoppers. Changing mortgages, however, would be a big deal. We don't need to, as we have an excellent mortgage provider, but for those who do, the government needs to get involved to make switching easier.
For a comparison of low-fee transaction accounts, Choice has a review. I'll give a spoiler for those who don't subscribe to Choice: ING Direct Orange Everyday and NAB Classic Banking are the "Best Buys".