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Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Page: 13895

Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry


Mr BOWEN (McMahon) (14:08): My question is to the Prime Minister. Nalini, a single mother of two, told the royal commission that, after being knocked back for a car loan by eight different lenders, a car dealership offered her a loan despite her small income and big credit card debt. She was sold a lemon, fell behind in her payments, and Westpac found that she never should have been given the loan in the first place. Why won't the Prime Minister schedule more sitting weeks before the election so this parliament can legislate the recommendations of the banking royal commission?


Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongThe Treasurer) (14:09): I thank the member for McMahon for his reference to Hayne recommendation 1.7, which is about removing the point-of-sale exemption for responsible lending obligations. And I can tell the member for McMahon that we agree with this recommendation in full. But we also recognise that this recommendation needs to be carefully implemented—

Ms O'Neil: Hey, Josh, this is how long a bill is!

Mr FRYDENBERG: because it will impact on thousands of Australian businesses.

Ms O'Neil: It's not hard!

Mr FRYDENBERG: So, after discussion—

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer will just pause. The member for Hotham will leave under standing order 94(a).

The member for Hotham then left the chamber.

Mr FRYDENBERG: After talking to the Treasury implementation taskforce about the various recommendations from the Hayne royal commission, this is one where we really need to carefully work through the implementation. It will require a consultation paper and discussion with key stakeholders.

It was interesting that when the Labor Party, at this doorstop earlier today, announced that they were going to provide part responses to just six per cent of the Hayne recommendations there was the conspicuous absence of any talk about Labor's position on mortgage brokers. That is because the member for Hotham, who's now left the chamber, went out publicly and said the Labor Party will implement every single recommendation of Hayne, and one of those recommendations relates to the fee model for mortgage brokers. We on this side of the House have said that we stand with mortgage brokers; that there are 17,000—

Mr Bowen: What about the dodgy car loans? What are you going to do about dodgy car loans?

Mr FRYDENBERG: Oh! It's not about the Hayne recommendations!

Mr Sukkar interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer will resume his seat. The member for Deakin will cease interjecting.

Mr Bowen interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for McMahon! I think the Manager of Opposition Business is trying to make a point of order. I'd like to hear him.

Mr Burke: It's a point of order on direct relevance. The question goes specifically to the car loan aspect of the royal commission recommendations. There is no catch-all phrase in there at all.

The SPEAKER: My hearing of the question was that was certainly in the preamble, and there was a question there, but there was another part that asked why extra sitting weeks wouldn't be scheduled to legislate recommendations of the banking royal commission. I think that has opened it up a bit and the Treasurer is in order.

Mr FRYDENBERG: The reality is that there are 17,000 mortgage brokers in this country employing around 26,000 people, and 75 per cent of those mortgage brokers are sole traders. They work in all the regional communities and they are helping put together more than half of the mortgages across Australia in the residential mortgage market. The Labor Party have said they're going to implement every single recommendation. That means they're going to smash competition in the housing market. They're going to bring a sledgehammer to mortgage brokers, and that means they're ignoring the recommendations of the Productivity Commission and they're going to give a big free kick to the banks. All the mortgage brokers across Australia, and their employees and their families, know that the coalition is standing with them. But they know that the Labor Party is preparing to implement every single recommendation of Hayne, which will actually bring a sledgehammer to their business model. So only one side of the parliament stands with mortgage brokers, and it is the coalition.