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20    Finance—Banking and Financial Services Sector

Senator McEwen, at the request of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Wong) and pursuant to notice, moved general business notice of motion no. 1127—That the Senate—

    (a)   notes that:

                  (i)   the confidence and trust in the financial services industry has been shaken by ongoing revelations of scandals, which have resulted in tens of thousands of Australians being ripped off, including:

                  ( a )   retirees who have had their retirement savings gutted,

                  ( b )   families who have been rorted out of hundreds of thousands of dollars,

                  ( c )   small business owners who have lost everything, and

                  ( d )   life insurance policy holders who have been denied justice,

                 (ii)   the first 3 months of 2016 alone have seen:

                  ( a )   allegations of serious misconduct in the insurance industry,

                  ( b )   the launch of an investigation into several banks for bank bill swap rate fixing, and

                  ( c )   allegations that major financial institutions have supported systematic tax avoidance as a result of the disclosure of the Panama Papers,

                (iii)   it is clear from the breadth and scope of the allegations that the problems in this industry go beyond any one bank or type of financial institution,

                (iv)   on 6 April 2016, the Prime Minister himself said ‘There have been too many troubling incidents over recent times for them simply to be dismissed’,

                 (v)   Australian Labor Party, the Australian Greens, crossbench, Australian Liberal Party and The Nationals parliamentarians have supported further investigation of these allegations through a Royal Commission, and

                (vi)   Australia has one of the strongest banking systems in the world, but Australians must have confidence in their banks and financial institutions, making it necessary to sweep away doubt and uncover and deal with unethical behaviour that compromises that confidence; and

    (b)   calls on the Prime Minister to request His Excellency the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia issue Letters Patent to establish a Royal Commission to inquire into misconduct in the banking and financial services industry.

Statement by leave : The Minister for Vocational Education and Skills (Senator Ryan), by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 33

Senators—

Bilyk

Ketter

McEwen (Teller)

Rhiannon

Cameron

Lambie

McKim

Rice

Carr

Lazarus

McLucas

Siewert

Conroy

Lines

Moore

Simms

Dastyari

Ludlam

Muir

Waters

Di Natale

Ludwig

O’Neill

Whish-Wilson

Gallacher

Madigan

Peris

Wong

Gallagher

McAllister

Polley

Xenophon

Hanson-Young

 

 

 

NOES, 27

Senators—

Back

Fawcett

Macdonald

Reynolds

Birmingham

Fierravanti-Wells

McGrath

Ruston

Bushby (Teller)

Fifield

McKenzie

Ryan

Canavan

Heffernan

Nash

Scullion

Cash

Johnston

O’Sullivan

Seselja

Colbeck

Leyonhjelm

Parry

Smith

Edwards

Lindgren

Paterson

 

 

 

Question agreed to.