A damning investigation by the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has found that the big banks have been unfair in their dealings with small and medium businesses in loan contracts and are refusing to change their ways. 

“Year after year, inquiry after inquiry, report after report we see evidence of banks letting down their customers and causing hardship to businesses without ever changing their ways,” Senator Gallagher said.

Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has joined the chorus of Australians who are rightly “fed up” with their treatment by the banks and want to see real change.

“We've had a look at 17 inquiries over quite a number of years with the banks saying 'yeah, yeah, yeah, we're going to change' and then they don't. And then they find a way to have another inquiry and kick the can down the road to find another reason why they won't change."

"I think though what we've got is a banking industry in Australia, particularly the big four banks, that believe for whatever reason that they can continue with business as usual and they don't have to change."

– Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell AO (ABC News, 3 February, 2017)

"The time has come for Malcolm Turnbull to stop protecting the banks and accept that a royal commission into the banks is the only way to get the systemic and permanent change required within Australia's banking industry. 

“Small businesses are the engine room of the Australian economy and as loyal and long term customers they deserve to be treated fairly by the banks. But this report shows that yet again the banks are failing to meet this minimum standard. 

“Labor will continue to fight for a royal commission because we know it is the only way to shine a light on the misconduct and cultural issues in the banks that have led to thousands of Australians, including small businesses, being ripped off or treated unfairly by them,” Senator Gallagher concluded.


Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services.

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