Banking Royal Commission - Speech, Federation Chamber

BANKING ROYAL COMMISSION

Federation Chamber, 20 June 2018

Then we have the Liberals' approach to banking misconduct. Following the Storm Financial collapse in 2009, Labor's Bernie Ripoll convened a parliamentary joint committee inquiry into the role of the financial services sector, spending nearly a year examining the industry and producing an important report.

But, instead of supporting the subsequent Future of Financial Advice reforms, the Liberals tried to thwart them in 2012 and tried to reverse them in 2013, with Senator Sinodinos attempting to sneak out a FOFA repeal in the shadows of Christmas 2013. In the 2014 budget, the Abbott government slashed $120 million from ASIC's budget—around 12 per cent of its budget and around 200 staff. We've seen the government supporting the old, risky model and trying such tricks as removing the best-interest test from the legislation.

As Bernard Keane in Crikey put it:

At every stage, the Liberals have gone to the mat for the big banks and financial planners, prepared to remove regulations, cripple the regulator, attack their competitors — and prevent scrutiny via a royal commission.

The fact is: the Turnbull government only supported a banking royal commission after the banks called for it. It took the Australian Banking Association to call for a banking royal commission before the Turnbull government would support it. We've seen since then the scandals that have made clear that Labor was right to call for a royal commission.

If we'd had one when Labor first called for it, then we would now be acting on the recommendations of that royal commission rather than being nearly two years late in dealing with the issue of banking misconduct.

ENDS

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra


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