Today the Senate voted against the motion lodged by Greens Finance spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, calling on the government to establish a Royal Commission into misconduct within the financial services sector.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “It has taken one Senate Inquiry into ASIC, many brave whistle-blowers and some dogged investigative reporting by Fairfax newspapers to reveal systemic abuses and misconduct within the financial services sector.
“We need to rip this issue wide apart and the only way to do this is to establish a Royal Commission with the proper investigative powers and resources.
“The ASIC Inquiry recommended that the government should establish a Royal Commission just on the evidence surrounding misconduct at the Commonwealth Bank. Since then, a number of additional scandals have come to light, with the latest being IOOF.
“The government is happy to have political witch-hunts into the pink batts scheme and union wrong-doings but won’t act to investigate the damage to tens of thousands of victims of white-collar crime.
“There is more need for a Royal Commission now than there was in June almost exactly one year ago, when the ASIC report was released.
“I am disappointed that Labor and the government did not support this call. The case is there for a Royal Commission: the public interest test is strong. The Greens will continue to campaign for a Royal Commission until the next election and beyond,” he concluded.
The motion is below.
(a) Notes the recommendations of the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into the Performance of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission;
(b) Notes the allegations that financial planners at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, ANZ Bank, Macquarie Bank and, most recently, IOOF having engaged in unethical and/or unlawful activity; and
(c) Calls on the government to establish a Royal Commission into misconduct within the financial services sector.