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Australia: Former Goldman Sachs exec promotes Big Four bank breakup

 |  September 18, 2014

A former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs is reportedly encouraging regulators in Australia to break up the Big Four banks.

Alastair Walton says authorities should consider the move and radically overhaul the banking sector to increase competition and promote stability in the market. Walton offered a lecture Thursday to argue his position, claiming that the sheer size of the Big Four players, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, NAB and ANZ, would inevitably lead to a financial crisis.

Further, the Big Four allow top lenders to focus on home loans and neglect financing innovation, he said.

Reports say Walton wants the government to question whether the nation would be better off with 8 or 10 banks instead of just four, and disagreed with policymakers’ current considerations of amending capital rules.

He added that the Council of Financial Regulators should include the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The Council is currently made up of the Reserve Bank, Treasury, Securities and Investments Commission, and the Prudential Regulation Authority, according to reports.

Full content: Sydney Morning Herald

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