Senator Whish-Wilson began campaigning for a Banking Royal Commission over four years ago, which was initially met with strong resistance from both major parties.
In June 2015, Senator Whish-Wilson moved a motion in the Senate calling on the Government to establish a royal commission into misconduct within the financial services sector.
Both Labor and the Coalition (with the exception of Senator John Williams) voted against the royal commission (votes here).
In April 2016, Senator Whish-Wilson again moved a motion, with very similar terms to the June 2015 motion.
This time the motion was supported by Labor but again voted down by the Coalition (votes here).
In March 2017, Senator Whish-Wilson introduced a Private Members’ Bill to establish a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry, similar to a Royal Commission but reports to parliament. In June 2017, the Bill passed the Senate and was then debated in the House of Representatives.
In November 2017, over two years after the Greens’ first parliamentary motion, then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull finally announces a Banking Royal Commission facing a loss (and vote of no confidence) over a vote for a Banking Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry Bill.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “We have an opportunity to build and transform our economy and financial system for the next century with reforms that reduce risk, change culture and put people before profits.”
The Greens policy will:
- Break-up the banks to stop the cross-selling;
- Establish a publicly-owned “People’s Bank” to provide some real competition;
- Put the ACCC in charge of conduct regulation; and
- Cap executive pay.
More information on the Greens’ push for a Banking Royal Commission can be found here.