House debates

Wednesday, 31 August 2016


Banking and Financial Services

10:01 am

Photo of George ChristensenGeorge Christensen (Dawson, National Party) Share this | Hansard source

I move:

that all words after "that" be omitted with a view to substitute the following words: This House:

(1)acknowledges concerns in the community about certain practices in the banking sector;

(2)notes that most of the notable scandals and collapses within the financial services sectors occurred under Labor's watch, when the Leader of the Opposition was the Minister responsible for Financial Services;

(3)notes that the Leader of the Opposition, as the then Minister responsible for Financial Services, neither initiated a royal commission into the banking sectors nor took meaningful action against the banks;

(4)supports the Prime Minister's actions in:

(a)calling on the banks to pass on interest rate cuts;

(b)reminding the banks that they operate in Australia under a 'social licence';

(c)his commitment to improving the culture in the banking industry; and

(d)his requirement that Australia's major banks appear at least once a year before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics to enable the Committee to report jointly to the Treasurer and the Parliament on Australia's banking and financial system;

(5)acknowledges that the Australian Government has already taken significant steps to further strengthen our banking and financial system by commissioning the Murray Financial System Inquiry and taking significant steps toward implementing the recommendations of that report;

(a)notes that the Murray Inquiry was opposed by Labor, with the then Treasurer, the Member for McMahon, stating "The finanical system is strong, well-regulated and well managed and I have not seen a case for a full blown inquiry";

(6)notes that the the Australian Government has conducted a capability review of ASIC and has acted to strengthen the resources and capability of the regulator, which not only has the investigative and reporting powers of a Royal Commission but also strong powers to compel a person to answer questions under oath, to compel the production of documents, to seek search warrants, to conduct investigations and to then use this information in prosecutions;

(a)notes that ASIC has commenced legal proceedings against three of the big four banks for alleged market manipulation of the bank bill swap rate, has commenced an investigation into the allegations surrounding CommInsure and the broader life insurance sector and is undertaking investigations into the conduct of the largest financial advice firms, as part of its Wealth Management Project;

(7)notes that, at their appearance before the House of Representatives Standing Committe on Economics, the banks will be required to explain pricing decisions and discuss their progress in responding to various issues raised in previous Parliamentary inquiries;

(8)notes that the Government is committed to ensuring that consumer complaints in the financial system don't fall through the cracks, that consumers can access justice and appropriate compensation in a timely manner, and that the Government has tasked an expert panel, led by Professor Ian Ramsay, with a comprehensive review of the External Dispute Resolution Schemes;

(9)notes that the Australian Government, via the Ramsay Review, is looking at establishing a one-stop-shop, which could formally adjudicate on consumer complaints and award compensation to those affected by malfeasance;

(10)notes that the Ramsay Review will produce an interim report to Government by November this year and will produce its final report no later than March 2017;

(11)supports the Government's action in tasking the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman with a forensic review of the most egregious cases identified by the Parliamentary Joint Committee report into the Impairment of Customer Loans to determine whether the regulatory deficiencies identified by the Inquiry, and any additional deficiencies identified through the forensic examination of the cases, require further specific reforms; and

(12)notes that if a Royal Commisssion was to go ahead it would simply be reviewing old ground and would delay well-developed and important reforms that will strengthen consumer protections, ensure malpractice is detected and punished, and provide a one-stop-shop for consumer complaints, in addition, a Royal Commission would send a signal internationally that there are structural problems with our banking and financial system which would have significant repercussions for confidence, international investment and for our AAA credit rating.

In moving that motion—


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