The Commonwealth Bank responds to claims made by the Consumers’ Federation of Australia

18 June 2004

The Federation recently sought to attract media attention by announcing an award to a company or individual that it nominates to have done the least to benefit consumers over the last twelve months.

Notwithstanding their right to make such awards, the Bank is disappointed that no consideration was given to all events over the year and that the Federation has chosen to focus only on one range of home loan options that the Bank released.

The Bank can only assume that the Federation was seeking a high profile name in an endeavour to attract media attention.

The Bank is also disappointed that the Consumers’ Federation of Australia considers that consumers cannot make an informed decision or deserve choice. The Bank has been singled out for providing a range of options that are designed to allow families to support their children or other family members.

The Family Equity home loan offers a number of options for family assistance, including the guarantor option. In all instances, the Bank strongly recommends that borrowers seek independent advice before committing. The Bank also provides draft forms of agreement to help families work out what might be best for them.

The option of parents becoming guarantors for their children is well established and will always remain available through the majority of home loan and other loan providers. All the Commonwealth Bank has done is provide its customers with a range of options that includes details of risks involved and draft documentation to formalise this type of loan.

Ultimately, the customer makes the decision on whether this type of loan is suitable to them.