Dr Marcus Banks


Casual Academic

School /
Work Unit

Economics, Finance and Marketing

Contact Details

+61 3 9925 5511



Building: 080
Level: 11
Room: 091-11

City campus


College of Business

Marcus Banks

Key activities

Marcus is a researcher with the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing. He is the lead author of ‘Caught Short’, an ARC Linkage funded report detailing the experiences of low income Australians who borrow small loans from the short-term moneylending market. The report, launched by the Minister for Financial Services, had a significant impact on policy debates about the appropriate level of regulation for the sector. Marcus has collaborated with Professors Roslyn Russell, Lisa Farrell, Tim Fry (RMIT) and Amalia Di Iorio (La Trobe University) on an ARC Discovery project to identify the critical dynamics underlying Australian women’s financial decision-making behaviour. He was Chief Investigator in a three-year evaluation of Good Money – a social finance store-front initiative of Good Shepherd Microfinance, with the support of NAB and the Victorian Department of Human Services. Marcus has recently secured a range of industry, government and internal grants to investigate how aspects of the Alternative Financial Services market, including payday loans and consumer leases, impact on the lives of low-income Australians.

Marcus has a background in social welfare. His research interests encompass the political economy of welfare, the socio-economics of consumer credit, social microfinance, gender segmented labour markets and the sociology of money.


  • PhD RMIT University (2011)
  • Bachelor of Social Science (First Class Hons) RMIT University
  • Diploma of Community Services (Welfare Studies) RMIT TAFE.


Commissioned research, grants and awards

  • 2015. Industry Grant: Chief Investigator with Professor Roslyn Russell and Dr Ashton de Silva –– Contextualising the Australian Consumer Lease Market. External funds:$65,040 Australian Securities and Investments Commission
  • 2015. Industry Grant: Chief Investigator with Professor Roslyn Russell and Dr Ashton de Silva –– The Australian Small Amount Credit Contract Market: Risks and Opportunities. External funds: $9,091 Australian Centre for Financial Studies
  • 2014: RMIT/Industry Grant: Chief Investigator — What is the scale and scope of the Australian online SACC (Small Amount Credit Contract) market and what are the sector’s business models? Internal funds: $9692 RMIT College of Business Research Grant. External funds: $2500 National Financial Services Federation.
  • 2012: Industry Grant: Chief Investigator with Professor Roslyn Russell – Good Money Project evaluation. External funds: $183,070 Good Shepherd Microfinance
  • 2011: ARC Discovery Project: Research Fellow – What women want: Unravelling the factors underlying women’s financial decision-making behaviour. Chief Investigators: Professors Roslyn Russell; Timothy Fry; Lisa Farrell and Amalia Di Iorio.
  • 2010: ARC Linkage Project: Research Associate/Fellow – Exploring the role of small, short-term loans in the lives of Australians’. Chief Investigators: Professors Catherine McDonald and Roslyn Russell (RMIT); Greg Marston (QUT) and Howard Karger (UQ).


  • 2015: Banks, Marcus & Marston, Greg. ‘On Neoliberalism and Welfare: Pay-day Lending and Commodifying Social Provisioning’. In Julian CH Lee (ed.) Narratives of Globalization: Reflections on the Global Condition. Rowman and Littlefield International Limited, London (forthcoming, November 2015)
  • 2015: Banks, Marcus; Marston, Greg; Karger, Howard; and Russell, Roslyn. ‘”In a perfect world it would be great if they didn’t exist”: how Australians experience payday loans’. International Journal of Social Welfare, vol 24, issue 1, 37-47.
  • 2015: Banks, Marcus; de Silva, Ashton; Russell, Roslyn. Trends in the Australian small loan market. Report for the Australian Centre for Financial Studies, August 2015.
  • 2015: Banks, Marcus; de Silva, Ashton; Russell, Roslyn; Lane, Aaron; Le, Peter and Sun, Jonathan. Contextualising the Australian Consumer Lease Market. Report for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, August 2015.
  • 2014: Ali, Jasmine & Banks, Marcus. ‘Into the Mainstream: The Australian Payday Loan Industry on the Move’. JASSA – The Finsia Journal of Applied Finance, issue 3, 35-42.
  • 2014: Banks , Marcus and Russell, Roslyn, Asset protection for low-income Australians: a review of the literature. RMIT University Graduate School of Business and Law, Smart Services CRC ‘Micro-Insurance Living Lab Pilot’ and Good Shepherd Microinsurance.
  • 2014: Banks, Marcus. What are the key social factors that lead individuals to use payday loans? Independent Expert Report. Re: Federal Court of Australia: Australian Securities and Investment Commission v The Cash Store Pty Ltd (in liquidation) [2014] FCA 926. For Australian Securities and Investments Commission, 6 October 2014.
  • 2014: Dobele, Angela and Banks, Marcus. Enhancing a productive research culture: the Research Capacity Building Team (RCBT) Writing Challenge. Evaluation Report for RMIT College of Business, October 2014.
  • 2014: Banks, Marcus and Ali, Jasmine. Online presence in the Australian Small Amount Credit Contract Market. Phase 1 Report for National Financial Services Federation, July 2014.
  • 2013: Banks , Marcus, ‘Producing Workfare’. Journal of Australian Political Economy, 70, 87-109.
  • 2013: Russell, Roslyn; Banks , Marcus & Green Rachel, Good Money Evaluation. Interim Report. For Good Shepherd Microfinance.
  • 2012: Banks , Marcus ; Marston, Greg; Karger, Howard; Russell, Roslyn, Caught Short. Exploring the role of small, short-term loans in the lives of Australians. Final Report, RMIT University, The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service, National Australia Bank , Brisbane.
  • 2011: Banks , Marcus , Caught Short. Interim Report. RMIT University, The University of Queensland, Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service, National Australia Bank . Melbourne.

Conferences and seminars

  • 2014: Banks, Marcus. Navigating the rocky terrain of social microfinance in Australia. 2nd Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Research Colloquium, RMIT University, Melbourne, November 2014
  • 2013: Banks , Marcus , ‘Neoliberal welfare production relations in Australia’, 10th Annual Historical Materialism Conference, School of African and Oriental Studies, London, November 2013.
  • 2013: Banks , Marcus , ‘Why is the Centrelink frontline workforce becoming increasingly feminised?’ Historical Materialism Australasia Conference, Sydney, July 2013
  • 2013: Banks , Marcus , ‘Technological changes brewing in the Australian payday lending industry’, Money, Technology and financial inclusion seminar, RMIT University, Melbourne, March 2013.
  • 2011: Banks , Marcus , ‘The productive and coercive character of workfare’ Historical Materialism Conference, Sydney, August 2011.


  • 6 August 2015: ‘Cash Converters facing Federal Court class action over alleged Queensland consumer law breach’ 612 ABC Drive Brisbane. Presenter: Emma Griffiths.
  • 5 August 2015: ‘Westpac withdraws funding to payday lenders’ 666 ABC Canberra. Presenter: Adam Shirley.
  • 11 June 2015:‘Loan and behold: Microfinance in Australia’ Radio interview for The Wire. Reporter Tegan Farrell. http://www.thewire.org.au/storyDetail.aspx?ID=12820#4.
  • 8 Apr 2015: ‘Look at wider payday loan issues: expert’. Interview for AAP Newswire. Reported on 49 sources, including SBS, The Daily Telegraph and Nine MSM. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/04/08/look-wider-payday-loan-issues-expert.
  • 2 Apr 2015: Banks, Marcus. ‘Stopping the game of loans will take more than regulation‘. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/stopping-the-game-of-loans-will-take-more-than-regulation-39506 .
  • 17 Mar 2015: ‘Easy money fail’. MX Newspaper. Reporter Sophie Aubrey, page 1.
  • 13 Mar 2015: Banks, Marcus. ‘Mo’ money, mo’ problems’. Overland online. https://overland.org.au/2015/03/mo-money-mo-problems/
  • 2 Mar 2015: ‘‘They’re no different to drug dealers’: Payday lenders thriving despite tougher rules’. The Courier Mail and 6 other News Limited publications. Reporter: Frank Chung.
  • 20 Feb 2015: Interview on $19 million fine imposed by Federal Court on The Cash Store for unconscionable conduct. ABC radio 1233 Newcastle. Interviewer: Gerry Collins.
  • 11 Feb 2015: Interview on class action being taken against Cash Converters franchises in NSW. ABC radio 1233 Newcastle. Interviewer: Jill Emberson.
  • Jul- Sep 2014: Coverage of initial findings of project: What is the scale, scope and business model of the Australian online small-amount, short-term credit industry?:
    • ‘ASIC is taking legal action against Teleloans and Finance and Loans Direct, in light of findings by an RMIT Research team’. Television interview on ABC National News & The Business
    • Radio interview on 2HD Newcastle and 8 other stations
    • ‘Rise of the online payday lenders’ The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and associated Fairfax publications. Reporter: Tom Cowrie.
  • 15 Oct 2012: Commentary on ACOSS Poverty in Australia Report:
    • ‘More than 2 million living in poverty’ The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and associated Fairfax publications. Reporter: Vince Chadwick.
  • 13-18 Aug 2012: Commentary associated with release of Caught Short Final Report:
    • Television interview on Network Ten program The Project
    • 5 radio interviews
    • 350 news sites including AAP, News Limited and Fairfax media.

Professional Membership

  • Australian Financial Inclusion Network
  • Centre for Global Research
  • Centre for Sustainable Organisations and Work
  • Global Cities Research Institute