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Bank behaviour warrants royal commission: Ripoll

There is simply “too much evidence” that a royal commission into the Australian banking sector is required, says former Labor federal politician Bernie Ripoll.

Asked at the InvestorDaily Wraps, Platforms and Masterfunds Conference in the Hunter Valley if he thought a royal commission was needed, Mr Ripoll gave an unequivocal “yes”.

“I’m just going to answer this plainly and say, yes, I think we’re at that place now,” he said.

“There’s just too much evidence and I think, too, it’s not just my view and it’s not just the Labor Party’s view — it’s the natural majority that’s contained in Parliament.”

If a free vote on the issue were to be called in Parliament today (18 August), Mr Ripoll said, the move would “definitely get up”.

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Mr Ripoll noted that the Australian financial services sector has undergone 37 inquiries in the last decade alone, but that many were still calling for more review and reform.

The form a royal commission would take, however, remains difficult to predict, Mr Ripoll said, but he cautioned that it would be a difficult process for the whole financial services sector.

“We call it a banking royal commission, but it’s actually a review into the financial services sector; it will be able to deal with things that haven’t been dealt with,” Mr Ripoll said.

“Will it be painful? I’m sure it will be, but there are things being uncovered now that I think warrant that extent of investigation to see whether there’s something a bit more systemic.”

[Related: CBA cuts exec bonuses]

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