CFMEU backs Labor's push for financial sector Royal Commission

Published: 8 Apr 2016

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union has welcomed Labor’s announcement it will hold a financial industry Royal Commission if it wins the federal election.

A long overdue inquiry into big banks would help restore the community’s faith in our financial industries and repair the damage done to domestic and international investor confidence.

CFMEU National Secretary Michael O’Connor welcomed a royal commission into the financial industry, saying unethical behaviour in Australia’s big banks had led to thousands of Australian’s losing money.

“The CFMEU welcomes Labor’s strong stance on financial misconduct by committing to a Royal Commission,” Mr O’Connor said.

“The Turnbull Government has failed to act in the best interests of small business, investors, mortgage holders and Australian families who keep their life-savings in Australia’s big banks.

“The community has lost faith in our financial system after repeated financial scandals and the situation is so bad that even Liberal National MPs have joined the call for their own Government to take action.

“The sad truth is the Government has ignored the repeated exploitation of Australian families in favour of its mates in the big end of town.

“A Royal Commission has to happen because every Australian has to deal with banks and the big banks are just too big to care about the savings of ordinary Australians.”

Recent financial scandals involving Australia’s big banks:

  • The former staff member of CBA’s insurance arm, CommInsure, claims a culture of dishonest and unethical practices against a number of helpless and defenceless claimants.
  • ANZ to pay $30 million dollar reimbursement for miscalculated interest on credit card cash advances, impacting millions of customers.
  • NAB to pay $115 million settlement to shareholders following poor disclosure of its investment in toxic products during GFC.
  • Senior Westpac executives have been subject to ongoing compulsory interviews by ASIC as the corporate watchdog’s investigation into the rigging of bank bill swap rates by Australian banks.
  • ASIC imposes conditions on Macquarie Bank for breaches relating to the handling of client money. The breaches raised issues including failing to deposit monies into a designated client trust account; and making withdrawals that were not permitted from such an account.
  • CBA staff allegedly implicated in elaborate alleged Ponzi scheme worth $76 million.