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Treasurer pledges support for mutuals

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The Turnbull Government has given strong backing to mutuals as it strives to inject more competition into the financial services and banking sectors.

Treasurer Scott Morrison says the Government supports all recommendations contained in the recently published review by industry adviser Greg Hammond.

“Co-operatives, mutuals and member-owned firms make a significant contribution to GDP in Australia,” Mr Morrison said.

“They represent a real alternative model for delivering important customer and community-focused services, especially banking and financial services.

“I want to see more competitive markets by putting customers at the centre. These organisations are all about the customer, because they are owned by them.

“Unleashing a stronger co-operatives and mutuals sector through implementation of the Hammond review recommendations will provide Australian consumers with better choices and more cost-effective options.”

The review recommends legislative changes to improve mutuals’ access to capital, and suggests inserting a definition of “mutual company” or similar into the Corporations Act 2001 to deliver greater certainty.

It also recommends changes to income tax legislation to help mutual enterprises raise capital. Further consultation will be carried out on the detail and implementation of the recommendations.