The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, introduced a Private Member’s Bill to legislate a mandatory Banking Code of Conduct.
“The community is sick and tired of the banks mistreating customers,” Mr Wilkie said. “While the big four banks alone posted a massive $30bn in profit last year, customers and their legitimate complaints are being ignored on a daily basis.”
“The current code of conduct for banks is voluntary, and written by and enforced by the industry. It’s no deterrent to bad behaviour at all.
“My bill would make the banking code of conduct legally enforceable and allow the banking regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, to impose fines and name and shame those who are found guilty of breaching the code.
Mr Wilkie will also second Member for Kennedy Bob Katter’s bill that would establish a banking Commission of Inquiry with all the powers of a Royal Commission.
“More broadly what we need is a proper investigation into systemic misconduct in the banking industry. Calling the bank bosses before a House of Representatives committee from time to time just won’t cut it.
“The Government is running a mile from meaningful banking reform. For its part, Labor is saying all the right things but so much of it rings hollow seeing as it didn’t support my attempt to establish a mandatory Banking Code of Conduct when it was in power.
“Once again it’s up to the crossbench to represent the community.”