News National Bill Shorten pledges to step up crackdown on big banks

Bill Shorten pledges to step up crackdown on big banks

bill shorten
Bill Shorten plans to fast-rack reforms recommended by the royal commission. Photo: Getty
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Big banks will be forced to face Parliament every six months and explain how they are tackling “rip offs and rorts” if Bill Shorten is elected Prime Minister. 

The Labor leader will announce on Wednesday that “the big banks won’t be able to hide” under new reporting guidelines that will force executives to explain how they are tackling the problem.

Banks will also be “named and shamed” when the Australian Financial Complaints Authority makes findings against them.

Mr Shorten said Labor will require the big four major banks and financial regulators to development implantation plans by August 1 and submit them to the Royal Commission Implementation Taskforce.

“The big banks will have to front up and tell Australians exactly how they are changing their culture to meet the Banking Royal Commission recommendations, with a Shorten Labor Government putting in place strict new reporting requirements to ensure banking execs aren’t let off the hook,” Mr Shorten said in a statement. 

“The Royal Commission can’t be left to gather dust on a bookshelf – Labor fought for this banking royal commission and we will continue the fight to make sure consumers are protected and the banks aren’t let off the hook,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Shorten announced a crackdown on dodgy car loans and a faster end to trailing commissions under his plan to fast-rack reforms recommended by the royal commission into the banking industry.

Kenneth Hayne delivers the Royal Commission's final report to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Kenneth Hayne delivered his final report into the banking and financial services sector to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Photo: AAP

Releasing Labor’s own legislation to tackle the reforms now, Mr Shorten has again urged the Prime Minister to recall Parliament to deal with the matter, warning Parliament may not sit again between the budget week and August as a result of the 2019 election.

Mr Shorten pledged to fast-track a ban on trailing commissions a year earlier than planned, ensuring car dealers offering loans are subject to the same rules as other lenders and a crackdown on funeral insurance groups targeting Aboriginal communities.

The Labor Leader accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of running “a part-time Parliament” and delaying the clean-up of the banks.

“These new laws go towards protecting people against dodgy car loans,” Mr Shorten said.

“They go to protect people against funeral insurance rip-offs. They go to protecting people against poor insurance claims handling.

Now, we make this request of the current government, set some sitting days in Parliament so that we can deal with the laws.”

“They voted against it 26 and now they’ve gone on a go-slow with a part time Parliament, because once Parliament rises at the end of this week, there’s only three days of Parliament, realistically, before August. That’s too long. The victims have waited too long.”

In Parliament, the issue dominated question time.

“Why is the Prime Minister putting the banks ahead of the people, just like he did when he voted against the banking royal commission 26 times?,” Mr Shorten asked.

However, the Mr Morrison made it clear he was not going to be rushing the reforms.

“What the government is not go to do is engage in reckless legislation,” he said.

“Our government doesn’t do that. What the leader of the Labor Party did in this place last week was to engage in reckless legislation to undermine Australia’s border protection regime. We’re already seeing the unintended consequences of it already.”

The Prime Minister described the Hayne report as raising serious issues, warning “it requires a very serious response.”

“That’s what the government is doing in responding and taking action on all 76 recommendations of the royal commission. We will do so in a way that follows the proper process of getting legislation right,” he said.

“The Labor Party have had 15 days to respond to the royal commission, and what they announced today, it sounds like they spent 15 minutes, putting it together.

“We know the Labor Party rushes legislation, the consequences are catastrophic.”