In the past 18 months alone the big banks have been forced to pay in excess of $300 million in fines or compensation for fraud, misleading conduct, illegal conduct or breaching consumer protections.
Malcolm Turnbull’s latest ‘anything-but-a-Royal-Commission’ idea, reportedly to be outlined in next week’s Budget, is just another example of the Prime Minister protecting his banking friends over Australia’s banking customers.
Back in October 2016 the Prime Minister promised a “low-cost, speedy Tribunal” to hear banking customer complaints but within weeks this Tribunal had been watered down to a “small “t” tribunal” and reports out today suggest the final model will simply be a rebadge of existing financial complaints mechanisms.
Unfortunately for banking customers, particularly those who have had their lives devastated by misleading and illegal conduct, simply rebadging existing complaints bodies will not get to the bottom of the wrongdoing that has led to thousands of Australians being ripped off by their banks or financial advisers.
A rebadged financial ombudsman will only be able to respond once a problem has happened but it will do nothing to prevent the problems from occurring in the first place.
Malcolm Turnbull will stop at nothing to protect the banks – just last week he reconfirmed his plan to give the banks a $7 billion tax cut.
Labor will continue to fight for a Banking Royal Commission because we know that it is the only thing that can deliver the systematic, structural and cultural change that the banking and financial services sector needs.
MONDAY, 1 MAY 2017