Financial crackdown under way: Turnbull

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says the government is cracking down on dodgy bankers.Malcolm Turnbull called the banking royal commission “regrettable” when it was set up, but now he’s cracking down on dodgy bankers after shocking revelations of financial crime.

The commission on Thursday heard the Commonwealth Bank had been extracting fees from dead people, in one case for more than a decade.

The horrifying revelation comes after the inquiry heard earlier this week that wealth manager AMP charged clients for advice they never received and repeatedly lied to the corporate watchdog.

Treasurer Scott Morrison warned the “despicable behaviour” carries jail sentences under federal law, while Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer on Friday revealed significantly higher penalties for companies and individuals who break the laws.

Dodgy bankers and insurers could get a decade in jail and millions of dollars in fines, with big companies potentially fined 10 per cent of their annual turnover.

“This is work that has been ongoing for some time. We have taken the view that it’s important for the government to get on with the job of financial reform,” Mr Turnbull told reporters in London on the sidelines of the CHOGM meeting.

“We’ve strengthened ASIC, we’ve introduced one tranche of stronger financial regulation legislation after another to protect consumers.

“All of that work will be informed by the work of the royal commission and we’ll look forward to the completion of that inquiry.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten wants Mr Turnbull to apologise for opposing a royal commission for two years.

“Even when he finally relented and allowed it to go ahead, Mr Turnbull called the royal commission ‘regrettable’,” Mr Shorten told AAP.

“The only thing ‘regrettable’ about all of this is that this disgraceful behaviour has gone on for so long and that this royal commission didn’t start sooner.”

Mr Turnbull said the commission was set up with broad terms of reference to go further than what Labor and the Greens had originally called for.

“The commissioner is undertaking his work and I think we should allow that work to continue,” Mr Turnbull said.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is open to extending the inquiry beyond its current deadline, which is to provide a final report by February 1 next year, if commissioner Justice Kenneth Hayne wants more time.

Australian Associated Press

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