Malcolm Turnbull’s desperate attempts to avoid a Royal Commission into the banking and financial services sector have hit a farcical low with the announcement that he has ordered a review of the findings of a previous bank inquiry.
Australians can see this for exactly what it is: Malcolm Turnbull’s fourth attempt at a ‘look over there’ diversion from the growing clamour for a Royal Commission.
On the one hand, the Government maintains that the problems in our banking sector are not serious or systemic enough to require a Royal Commission.
Yet we have now seen them announce four different mechanisms for tackling problems they say don’t exist, including:
· New funding and powers for ASIC
· Annual appearances before the Liberal-controlled House Economics Committee
· A bank tribunal that will replicate the existing Financial Ombudsman Service
· And now a Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman review of the findings of an inquiry the Senate has already concluded.
Every time the Prime Minister announces another toothless review mechanism, he reinforces the need for a Royal Commission while confirming he is too beholden to the banks to deliver one.
Australia needs a Royal Commission to systematically examine the rip offs and scandals and find out what cultural practices need to change to fix a sector that has proven it cannot reform itself.
Labor will not stop pushing for a Royal Commission because we know that this is the only way to hold the sector accountable for what has happened in the past and stop the scandals in the future.
How many more weak and ineffective reviews will the Prime Minister come up with before he finally acknowledges this fact?
Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services.