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Thursday, 31 May 2018
Page: 5178

Financial Services Industry

Mr DREYFUS (IsaacsDeputy Manager of Opposition Business) (14:51): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the government's new Banking Executive Accountability legislation. What sanctions would the chairman of an investment bank such as Goldman Sachs be subject to under these new measures when he dishonestly breaches the Corporations Act in advising on the sale of an insurance company, when that sale then contributes to the greatest corporate collapse in Australian history?

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: Members on my left. The Treasurer has the call.

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:52): I thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity to talk about the Banking Executive Accountability Regime. This is a very good example of how the Turnbull government has been taking action to deal with misconduct in the banking and financial system. It follows the work that was done following the Financial System Inquiry, which was initiated by the coalition government when we came to office, which I note the previous government refused to undertake. They refused to undertake the Financial System Inquiry. They refused, frankly, to do anything in relation to banking executive accountability when they were in office, despite the fact they dealt with Opes Prime, despite the fact there was Storm Financial, despite the fact there was the takeover of Bankwest by the Commonwealth Bank, despite the ANZ Landmark transaction. When all of this was going on, where was the Leader of the Opposition then? Where was the shadow Treasurer then, when they were in government? Well, I know what the shadow Treasurer was doing: he was the immigration minister, completely stuffing up our borders

But when it came to those who wanted to talk about these issues, they presided over all of these things and did absolutely nothing. As the minister reminded us yesterday, they turned a 000 phone number into a policy when it came to what they did to deal with misconduct in the banking and financial system. What we have done is put in place the toughest set of accountability rules for banking executives that has ever existed in this country. It is changing the conduct, and will change the conduct, in our banking and financial system, because of the penalties, because of the sanctions. What will happen under this regime is that bankers who do the wrong thing will no longer be able to slip out the side and go and work in another bank somewhere else. They won't be able to work in a bank ever again. That is what our rules are doing. That's the action we're taking. We've doubled the penalties for jail terms from five years to 10 years. That's what we're doing as a result of the enforcement taskforce that we put together to look at the penalties that came out of the review of the Financial System Inquiry.

We're taking action with tougher penalties. They can face penalties of up to $1 million—just under that—personally, and for individual institutions some $200 million in penalties apply as a result of the tough rules that we are putting in place. What the Labor Party did for the victims of misconduct in the banking and financial system was zip, zero and nothing, and they should be ashamed of their misconduct in overseeing that system.