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CommInsure scandal reinforces need for an urgent Royal Commission

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 8 Mar 2016

The Australian Greens have today reiterated their call for a Royal Commission into the financial services sector and the culture generated within vertically integrated banking models.

Greens Finance spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, has again called for banks to be put under the highest level of scrutiny following revelations of misconduct in the insurance arm of the Commonwealth Bank.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The coercive powers of a Royal Commission are essential to see how far and how high this problem goes.

“In recent years, misconduct has been uncovered in three of the four major banks and a number of other smaller banks. They should be handing out a scandal of the month award.

“The development of the vertically integrated business model has increased the risk of conflicts of interest arising.

“The sheer number and frequency of allegations would suggest that the problem is more than just a few bad apples. Australians need to know just how much and how often they are being ripped off by the banks.

“The major parties have ducked this issue so far. My question to them is, how many scandals will it take? How many more people need to be dudded before they are willing to take this issue seriously?

“Banks are much more than just deposit and loan businesses. They offer financial advice, insurance and much more. We need a Royal Commission to provide proper protection for whistle-blowers and to understand whether it is the very culture of banking in Australia that is contributing to this problem.

“The Financial System Inquiry avoided tackling this issue head-on. This is despite the big-four banks being effectively insured by the Australian taxpayer through the deposit guarantee and the committee liquidity facility,” he concluded.

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