8 April 2016
Sydney, 8 April 2016: The Australian banking industry believes a royal commission into financial services is unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer funds, Australian Bankers’ Association CEO Steven Münchenberg said today.
“Banks do accept that in the past they have not always lived up to their own standards, let alone those of their customers,” Mr Münchenberg said.
“That is why we have seen new regulation introduced for banks. That is why we have had a number of inquiries, before Parliament and others. The issues the Australian Labor Party is talking about have already been examined.
“The outcomes of those inquiries are either being implemented or, like the former Government’s Future of Financial Advice reforms, are still taking full effect. These measures respond to instances that occurred in the past and should be given a chance to take full effect before another inquiry is contemplated,” he said.
“As an industry, we recognise that banks need to show leadership in addressing very real concerns about culture and conduct. Banks will continue to work with government and regulators to address any legitimate concerns with inappropriate behaviour or misconduct.”
Mr Münchenberg said the ALP’s proposal would have international ramifications for Australia.
“Banks are particularly concerned that a call for a royal commission will send alarm signals to international investors about Australia at a time of global volatility,” he said.
“Australia’s banks are already highly regulated. Banks have also just contributed to a comprehensive review of the financial system and are now implementing recommendations from the Financial System Inquiry to ensure the integrity of the system into the future.
“Banks support the core of the economy and highly value their social license to operate.”
Contact: Stephanie Arena 0477 470 677 or Nic Frankham 0435 963 913
Access to credit opens up opportunities and fulfills aspirations. Getting it right requires the right balance between consumer protections and the flow of credit.
Interviewed by AM’s Peter Ryan, ABA CEO Anna Bligh talked about the substantial drop in loan deferrals since their peak during the pandemic, falling from 900,000 to 300,000.