The Greens spokesperson for Consumer Affairs, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, says that revelations that ANZ charged 8,500 clients for a service they never received shows that more needs to be done to root out problems in the sector.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “It has only taken a few Senate inquiry hearings to pressure the banks to reveal systemic problems within the financial advice sector.
“Imagine what might be exposed if a Royal Commission was established and given powers to investigate the sector properly.
“We have scratched away a few layers of paint and look at what rottenness we have exposed.
“We need to find out whether the termite infestation within the big banks is localised or whether it has gotten into the foundations.
“Right now, beyond a few individual Senators, only the Australian Greens are fully backing the need for a Royal Commission.
“The Senate Inquiry into ASIC, chaired by Labor and backed by Liberal Senators, recommended a Royal Commission into financial advice but neither Labor nor Liberal have committed to establishing one.
Senator Whish-Wilson also said that the revelations confirmed the benefits of the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) legislation.
“The FoFA laws included ‘opt-in’ provisions that would have made it difficult for ANZ to dupe their clients into continuing to pay charges for a service they didn’t get.
“This proves the Senate was right to reject the Liberal’s efforts to remove the opt-in clause,” he concluded.