Liberals protect banks from scrutiny – again - Media Release

STEPHEN JONES MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES
MEMBER FOR WHITLAM

ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES
MEMBER FOR FENNER

LIBERALS PROTECT BANKS FROM SCRUTINY – AGAIN

It appears that the Morrison Government is once again standing between banks and public scrutiny.

Reports this morning indicate that the Liberals will block Labor’s push to recall Westpac before the House of Representatives House Economics Committee after the bank reported 23 million breaches of money laundering laws - almost one breach for every Australian.

The Committee heard from Westpac just a fortnight ago, before this scandal broke. It's vital that the committee gets to the bottom of what Westpac did wrong and how the money moved. If issues around money laundering are not sufficiently addressed, it could have adverse implications for financing of organised crime and terrorism.

The lame excuse that an Economics Committee hearing would interfere with legal proceedings is simply false. Westpac faces a judge-only trial in the federal court, and it is entirely appropriate that the Economics Committee also inquiring into the surrounding institutional issues. Under this spurious argument, Australian couldn’t have held a Royal Commission into the banking sector until every court case against a bank was concluded.

We need to learn from Westpac’s scandals for the health of the entire sector. Recalling Westpac goes back to the same principles that led Labor to call for a royal commission into the banking sector, something the Liberal Party voted 26 times and  delayed by 18 months.

Parliament has a responsibility to investigate these issues, not defend Westpac from proper scrutiny.

ENDS

Authorised by  Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.


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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.