Confidence and trust in Australia’s financial services industry has taken a huge hit after an ongoing range 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.
There are literally tens of thousands of victims, if not more. Enough is enough.
That is why a Shorten Labor Government will hold a Royal Commission into misconduct in the banking and financial services industry.
This is an important decision that was not taken lightly – it has been made after careful consideration over an extended period of time.
This sector employs almost half a million people and is the fastest growing in the Australian economy. 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 their banks and financial institutions, to sweep away the doubt, to uncover and deal with unethical behaviour that compromises that confidence.
Even the Prime Minister has expressed concern about illegal and unethical behaviour in the banking sector:
“There have been too many troubling incidents over recent times for them simply to be dismissed.”
(MALCOLM TURNBULL, SPEECH TO WESTPAC’S 199TH BIRTHDAY, WEDNESDAY 6 APRIL 2016)
Every Australian uses a bank and every Australian relies on the integrity of the banks – we need to restore that trust and confidence.
After a damaging series of Liberal cuts to ASIC, getting to the bottom of the wide-ranging and severe issues uncovered in recent years is now beyond the capacity of regulators.
A Royal Commission into the financial services industry will examine issues such as:
- 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 as may come to light in the course of investigating the above.
This proposal for a Royal Commission into Australia’s Financial Services Industry has been costed by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office at $53 million over two years.
There are Members of Parliament in the Liberal and National Parties who are fed up with hard-working people in their communities getting ripped off. The Government should listen to these MPs and the concerns of the Australian community and support Labor’s call for a Royal Commission.