Senate debates

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Questions without Notice

Banking and Financial Services

2:10 pm

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Vice-President of the Executive Council) Share this | Hansard source

The first point I would make is that it was Mr Morrison who initiated the establishment of a banking royal commission. It was Mr Morrison who drafted the terms of reference. It was Mr Morrison who was responsible, with the Prime Minister at the time, for selecting the royal commissioner, who's been doing an outstanding job.

Labor over six years in government did nothing in relation to any of this. We have actually increased penalties in relation to relevant corporate offences and crimes—for example, from five years imprisonment to 10 years imprisonment for individuals; and we have increased fines from $210,000 to $9.45 million for corporations in relation to maximum civil penalties. We've increased penalties right across the board. But the Labor Party, as part of a little auction, tried to just push it that little bit further.

We actually are the ones who have taken action. We have increased penalties, and Labor is just playing political games. Over six years in government, you did nothing. During your period in government we saw the collapse of Trio Capital, which had 5,000 victims and is costing $176 million. We saw the collapse of Storm Financial, with 4,000 clients, which suffered losses estimated to be $3 billion. We saw the collapse of Opes Prime. This has led to the people who have committed misconduct being subject to penalties that are much lower than in other industries and financial systems in other Western countries under your government. So, you're Johnny-come-latelies, quite frankly, when it comes to this.

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