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Issue #1759      November 30, 2016

Inquiry delivers ... for banks

The Turnbull government’s attempt to head off calls for a Royal Commission into Australia’s banks and finance industry by calling bank bosses to Canberra for a friendly cup of tea and a chat has backfired.

Banking and financial workers and customers who have been the victims of excesses by the banking sector won’t be silenced by the report from the House Economics Committee.

“We need a Royal Commission to take a long hard look at Australia’s banks and financial sector and make recommendations about proper reform. But instead of a serious inquiry Malcolm Turnbull has established a toothless tiger that won’t result in the changes banking and finance workers and customers desperately need,” said Finance Sector Union (FSU) national secretary Julia Angrisano.

“The banks will happily continue to go about their business using bullying and unfair workplace pressure on staff to generate sales of financial products to customers who don’t need them and can’t afford them,” Angrisano said.

“Only a Royal Commission can get to the bottom of the scandals that have rocked the banking industry and the relentless drive for profits that leaves bank staff stressed and customers out of pocket.”

Angrisano said the culture of Australia’s big banks was at the heart of the problem bank workers and consumers faced whenever they interact over the counter or over the phone.

Angrisano supported calls from corporate regulator Greg Medcraft who criticised unnamed corporate executives in the industry who still were in denial about endemic cultural problems. These executives wrongly believe that mass-sackings of “bad apples” would satisfy the wider community.

“This committee was set up by the Prime Minister to give the government political cover and allow them to walk away from their responsibility to properly regulate the banking and financial services sector.”

The FSU believe banking and finance workers and the community deserve decent banks which act in a responsible manner in the public interest as well as in the interests of shareholders.

“Instead this Coalition-dominated committee has delivered a series of vague promises that won’t fix the problems that plague the banking system.”

Angrisano said calling bank bosses to Canberra for a slap on the wrist would do nothing to clean up a system designed to deliver multi-million dollar bonuses to banking executives at the expense of bank workers and the public.

Next article – Axe poised over 600 jobs

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