I have been interested to see the changes in advertising by the Australian banks over the last few weeks – the changes seem to be directed (for the first time ever in my memory) towards reassuring customers and potential customers that the banks are strong and safe. All of the previous campaigns I have seen have emphasised value for money or high service levels, with the non-price associated advertising predominating.

Trying to understand this using pure logic – this makes no sense. The banks at the moment are the safest they have ever been as they now have a full government guarantee (for deposits under $1m), something they have never had before. In fact, with all ADIs being guaranteed in this way they are just as safe as each other.

To me, this illustrates one thing clearly – the banks believe that the knowledge of the government guarantee has not penetrated to all of their deposit customers and, for those that do know it, the banks are trying to create the belief that they will be just as safe once it is withdrawn.

I can’t see this as being a long term trend, but it may be a pre-emptive strike. Once the guarantee is withdrawn (hopefully on schedule) then I think we can expect to see much more of this.

I can’t see the smaller institutions being h

appy about it.