Treasurer Wayne Swan says it is too early to say whether the Federal Government's attempts to boost competition in the banking sector have triggered a move away from the big four banks.
The Government has announced it will ban mortgage exit fees for new home loans from July next year.
A survey of 15,000 mortgage holders published in News Limited papers has found 22 per cent of mortgage holders are looking for a new lender.
Mr Swan says he is "delighted" to see Australians considering smaller lenders, noting a 2009 survey that showed just 4 per cent of mortgage holders were shopping around.
He says it is an encouraging sign, but he cannot yet say whether people will take the next step and switch lenders.
"Well it's too early to tell. What these figures show is that many people are thinking about their future arrangements," he said.
"At the moment the bigger banks rely on the fact their customers won't move, the competitive banking package is giving customers the capacity to walk down the road."
Mr Swan says smaller banks, credit unions and building societies often have much more competitive mortgage rates than the big banks.
"By building up competition over time and empowering consumers to get the best deal for themselves, we can help keep the banks honest with their mortgage rates," he said.