Greens Treasury spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson is calling upon both Labor and Liberal Parties to remain open-minded to calls to break up the banks in light of the compelling evidence at the Royal Commission of banks being unable to manage the conflict of interest inherent in owning financial advice businesses.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “At the 2016 election the Greens proposed that any Bank Royal Commission specifically examine the question of whether banks could responsibly own and run financial advice businesses, and if not, to examine the question of how the sector should be restructured.
“So far the evidence from the Royal Commission suggests that banks can’t be trusted to manage conflicts of interest and that the regulator doesn’t have the tools or willingness to deal with it.
“The Greens welcome the comments by former ACCC Chairperson Allan Fels that tighter regulation simply won’t be enough and that a vertical and horizontal break-up of the banks be seriously considered.
“I hope that that the coalition Government and the Labor opposition do not hastily dismiss these sort of calls and start putting the policy work in place to examine how a mandatory bank break-up might be implemented in a structured and ordered manner.
“When I put forward a proposal that the Royal Commission should examine the question of breaking up the banks it was criticised by the Treasurer Scott Morrison, former Commonwealth Bank CEO David Murray and former NAB Chairperson Michael Chaney. But given the evidence before the Royal Commission so far it is clear that the Greens have been vindicated,” he concluded.