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SloMo wrong on Royal Commission



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CHRIS BOWEN MP SHADOW TREASURER MEMBER FOR MCMAHON

SLOMO WRONG ON ROYAL COMMISSION

The Treasurer is facing growing division and dysfunction from within the Coalition as he madly scrambles to defend the Prime Minister’s Captains Call to oppose a Royal Commission into the baking and financial services industry.

The Government continues to suggest that ASIC has more powers and resources than a Royal Commission.

Late yesterday the Treasurer said:

“…ASIC has the powers of a Royal Commission, that it actually has more powers than a Royal Commission.”

MORRISON, DOORSTOP, 12 APRIL 2016

Really Scott?

Does ASIC have the power to investigate itself?

Labor has clearly stated that a Royal Commission into the banking and financial services sector will carefully scrutinise the role, powers, and funding of each of our financial regulators.

ASIC investigations are conducted in private, even when there is compelling public interest in the matter. Only a small proportion of matters dealt with by ASIC lead to prosecution.

While the behaviour of the banking and financial services industry may be within the limits of our current laws, it could be inappropriate, undesirable, or dubious, but never be properly exposed, and thus used to inform necessary changes to legislation.

A Royal Commission is an open and transparent public inquiry that can question, debate and explore these systemic issues.

 ASIC can begin an investigation at the instruction of a Minister, the request of a liquidator, or when it suspects an offence has been committed - a Royal Commission can investigate any issues, even matters that are obviously permitted within our current laws;

 ASIC does not have the power to arrest a person who refuses a summons - a Royal Commission does;

 ASIC does not have the power to compel a person to answer questions, unless they are relevant to an offence - but it is an offence to refuse to answer questions at a Royal Commission.

The ASIC Chairman, Greg Medcraft, reminded us today that “trust has been somewhat dented” in the financial services sector.

A Labor government is committed to improving both the industry, and the regulators, and restoring that dented trust on behalf of customers, employees, and shareholders.

We reiterate our commitment that we will work the government - or any of their backbenchers - on a terms of reference for a Royal Commission.

WEDNESDAY, 13 APRIL 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: JAMES CULLEN 0409 719 879