Labor believes firmly in a healthy and profitable financial services sector. We have one of the strongest banking systems in the world and Labor wants to make it even stronger. We need Australians to have confidence in the fairness of their banks and financial institutions.

 

Confidence and trust in the fairness of Australia’s financial services industry has taken a huge hit after series of scandals and high profile consumer rip offs in recent years. Retirees have had their retirement savings gutted. Families have been rorted out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Small business owners have lost everything. Life insurance policy holders have been denied justice. Whistle blowers have suffered appalling treatment at the hands of their employers and the corporate regulator.

 

Labor believes that the only way to improve the culture in our banks is a Royal Commission.

 

Malcolm Turnbull’s approach of requiring the bank executives to come to Canberra once a year falls far short of what is required.  The idea that a once a year appearance at a House of Representatives Economics Committee being run by the Liberal Party will change banking culture is ridiculous.   

 

Labor believes that there have been too many scandals affecting too many people.  We will continue to advocate for a Royal Commission. 

 

A Royal Commission into the banking and financial services industry could examine issues including:

 

  • How widespread instances of illegal and unethical behaviour are within Australia’s financial services industry.
  • How Australia’s financial services institutions treat their duty of care to their customers.
  • How the culture, ethical standards and business structures of Australian financial services institutions affect the behaviour of these institutions.
  • Whether Australia’s regulators are really equipped to identify and prevent illegal and unethical behaviour.
  • Comparable international experience with similar financial services industry misconduct and best practice responses to those incidents; and other events that may emerge over the course of investigating the above.

 

There are Members of Parliament in both the Liberal and National Parties who are fed up with hard-working people in their communities getting ripped off.  Malcolm Turnbull should listen to these MPs and the concerns of the Australian community and set up a Royal Commission.  Instead, he wants to give banks a $7 billion tax cut.

 

Labor is the only party that will stand up for victims and whistleblowers, and take on the big banks and the financial services industry for the way they have treated customers.