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Banks slam call for royal commission

The Australian banking industry believes a royal commission into financial services is “unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer funds”.

Australian Bankers’ Association CEO Steven Munchenberg said banks accept that in the past they have not always lived up to their own standards, let alone those of their customers.

“That is why we have seen new regulation introduced for banks. That is why we have had a number of inquiries, before parliament and others. The issues the Australian Labor Party is talking about have already been examined,” Mr Munchenberg said in a statement today.

“The outcomes of those inquiries are either being implemented or, like the former government’s Future of Financial Advice reforms, are still taking full effect. These measures respond to instances that occurred in the past and should be given a chance to take full effect before another inquiry is contemplated.”

Mr Munchenberg said the industry recognised that banks needed to show leadership in addressing very real concerns about culture and conduct.

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“Banks will continue to work with government and regulators to address any legitimate concerns with inappropriate behaviour or misconduct,” he said.

Mr Munchenberg said the ALP’s proposal would have international ramifications for Australia.

“Banks are particularly concerned that a call for a royal commission will send alarm signals to international investors about Australia at a time of global volatility,” he said.

“Australia’s banks are already highly regulated. Banks have also just contributed to a comprehensive review of the financial system and are now implementing recommendations from the Financial System Inquiry to ensure the integrity of the system into the future.

“Banks support the core of the economy and highly value their social license to operate.”

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