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Banks are locking Indigenous people out of the biggest wealth boom in Australia's recent history

Guest Author -

The biggest wealth boom in recent history has been through homeownership, which has made many boomers into millionaires simply because they were able to get a bank loan and purchase a house, with at least one in four homes in Australia are now worth $1 million or more.

We've seen the combined wealth of Australians according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the wealth of Australian households rose to $518 billion in the March quarter of 2021, reaching a record $12.664 trillion.

Household wealth accounts for more than 80 per cent of wealth-building activities.

But what of the majority of First People who could not get a bank loan during the same time period?

It's easy to dismiss the question and assume that First People just never qualified for home loans or deserved one as much as their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Despite high unemployment rates, many First People still had jobs and were just like other Australians in that respect.

However, they were unable to secure home loans from the big banks.

The only thing missing at the time was arguably the willingness of the big banks to provide capital for First People.

We're told that if we work hard like other Australians, we will have the same opportunities but the truth is not everyone has access to the same resources or privileges.

The fact is First People have to work twice as hard to get anywhere, and probably need double the amount of money for their first home deposit before the big banks are willing to lend to them.

There are many firsthand accounts of banks refusing mob who are trying to break the poverty cycle and get ahead.

Consider, for example, Adam Briggs, a Yorta Yorta man and Australian hip-hop artist, who said when he was growing up in the 1980s, his parents were denied entry to homeownership even though they had the same deposit as other Australians.

When the person selling the house discovered that Briggs's parents were Indigenous, that house was no longer for sale.

The fact is that many First People have missed out on owning their own homes and building wealth because of factors outside their control, including being systematically excluded from financial resources and opportunities for home ownership by big banks.

The disadvantage faced by our ancestors is still alive today and the system is still rigged against First People.

And the big banks are coddled by the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Federal Government, which allows them to fend off potential competitors and keep their monopoly of the financial system.

When will they start pulling their weight and actually help close the disparity gaps?

When will they stop talking about Reconciliation and start investing in ReconciliACTION?

Dean Foley is a Kamilaroi entrepreneur and founder of First Nations Lottery

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