Banking sector set for more tightening measures introduced in Parliament this week

The Coalition Government are looking at bringing in more checks on banks to keep those MPs in the party happy who support the proposal for a royal commission into the banking sector.

Labor plans to move a motion in Parliament this week calling for a royal commission into banks, and The Australian Financial Review reported today that sources tell it the Liberals are planning to move a counter motion of their own.

The Turnbull Government motion is said to include an opportunity for bank customers to publicise their grievances with banks and also seek redress.

Any further tightening on the banking sector would come off the back of increased power and resources given to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission earlier this year.

Malcolm Turnbull also announced in the election campaign that bank executives would have to front a parliamentary economics committee at least once a year to explain their actions on big issues such as interest rates.

Mr Turnbull also plans to bring in a tribunal for banking victims to assist them so they avoid financially crippling court action.

The move to appease some Liberal MPs comes after several of them threatened to cross the floor in the Lower House over the issue.

Mr Turnbull said the Government was working to tighten the banks and a royal commission wasn’t necessary.

“We’ve increased the resources of ASIC,” he said.

“In addition to that, we’ve ensured the transparency and accountability that will go with the regular appearances permanently of the banks joining both the RBA and APRA at regular appearances before the House of Representatives standing committee on economics.”

“And in addition to that, we’ve initiated through the Ramsay Review in recent weeks the process to put in place a tribunal that will enable Australians to have a level playing field and have access to seeing their cases dealt with and addressed in a more meaningful way than currently occurs now.”

Treasurer Scott Morrison weighed in on the issue by stressing the importance of having a strong banking sector.

“A strong banking and financial system was a, if not the, key reason why Australia withstood the financial storm of the GFC,” he said.

Mr Morrison said a royal commission would undermine the confidence in the Australian banking and financial system both at home and abroad.


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