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Thursday, 1 November 2012
Page: 12981

Ms LEY (Farrer) (13:48): I would like to offer my concern for a number of constituents in the Albury region who like many across the border in regional Victoria have been impacted by the collapse of Banksia Securities. Some of these people stand to lose tens of thousands of dollars in savings or investments they presumed were deposited in something as safe as a bank. Today's Financial Review reports:

… Banksia looked and acted like a bank. The company sold debentures … both for fixed terms and at call.

It was these 'at call deposits' which gave some the impression Banksia was indeed a bank, as it apparently offered an ability to withdraw money at any time.

I welcome the set-up of an ASIC task force to look at the collapse, but surely this could have been prevented. All legitimate banks—and I add smaller local credit unions and building societies to that list—are authorised deposit-taking institutions operating under the Banking Act and supervised by APRA. A release from my local branch of the WAW Credit Union sums this up:

This collapse has placed many individual and community investments at risk and the Government must re-assess and enforce restrictions on the non-APRA-regulated sector to provide better transparency and protection for the Australian community.

I commend our local credit unions such as WAW and our local building societies such as the Hume Building Society for their commitment to our local community in Albury and the border region.