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Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Page: 4201


Senator HANSON (Queensland) (18:09): As you are all aware, One Nation spearheaded a very successful Senate inquiry into this very matter. It was evidence uncovered by this inquiry into the banks' rural lending practices that forced the government to finally hold this long-overdue royal commission. Only the other week, my fellow One Nation senator Peter Georgiou and I stood outside the royal commission and called for the royal commission's investigation to be expanded. So I'm proud of One Nation's consistency on this issue and our record of holding the banks to account.

Now that the banking royal commission has started, we see the horrors of what the bankers have been doing. This is not the behaviour we would expect from people trusted with the wealth of millions of Australians. It was the Australian taxpayers effectively who bailed out the banking system with the $250,000 deposit guarantee. In return, Australians have had to endure a continuous procession of unethical and illegal behaviour from a rotten bank executive culture.

I believe the Hayne commission has done a good job of investigating misconduct where the banks have already admitted fault, like financial planning, insurance and fees for no service. However, for misconduct where the banks have not admitted fault, the commission has been found wanting. I have grave concerns about two key points where the Hayne commission has failed. Firstly, there are masses of farmers who want to tell Australia their horror stories. I have personally spoken to dozens of these farming victims. These people want their say. These people want to be heard. Their stories are so horrific that all Australians need to hear them so that we, as a community, can decide on what we should do with banking executives that treat families like this. In my opinion, there has not been sufficient time given to hearing the array of stories from farm victims.

Secondly, and of most concern, was the manner in which the Hayne commission glossed over the small business scandals, especially the CBA takeover of Bankwest. It is especially disconcerting given that the CBA Bankwest misconduct is identical to the ANZ-Landmark misconduct. Both scandals involved the bank destroying or attempting to destroy the customers' livelihoods. This has caused the breakup of families, mental and physical illness and, in some cases, suicide. The Hayne commission investigates the ANZ-Landmark mistreatment of farmers but dismisses the CBA Bankwest mistreatment of SMEs as a conspiracy theory. Something is amiss. I hope that the commissioner slows down, reads all the evidence, speaks to all the witnesses and asks for more time from the government.

I call on the government to extend the funding, time frame and terms of reference to include receivers, liquidators, administrators and mortgage insurance for the banking royal commission so that farmers and SMEs can get justice and legislatures can make sure no Australian ever has to suffer through this mistreatment at the hands of banks. I'm also calling on the government to pass the cost of the royal commission on to the banking and financial services sectors found guilty of misconduct, and the victims paid adequate compensation for their loss and pain.