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Sign the petition for stronger banking reforms

Call on Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to pass strong laws that hold finance executives to account and compensate victims of financial crime.

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Watered down banking reforms won't be good enough

Last year, the government promised to pass two crucial royal commission recommendations to hold finance executives to account with serious penalities and to compensate victims of financial crime.

But the government’s proposed laws are not good enough. They will let finance execs off the hook for the kinds of crimes that led to the banking royal commission and leave too many victims without compensation.

The government is planning to go back on their proposal to have $1 million fines for finance executives who break the law – it’s now down to zero. And the compensation scheme for victims of financial misconduct will have huge carve outs that will leave too many people with nothing.

In the financial year following the banking royal commission, 54 big four bank executives earned over $101 million, while not a single fine was handed out for misconduct. The current system isn’t working.

We know the government is considering the final design of these laws right now. This is an opportunity to ensure the lessons of the royal commission are not lost. Add your voice by calling on the government to pass strong banking protections that protect people, not the banks.

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CHOICE is calling for a Compensation Scheme of Last Resort reform that would compensate people if an ombudsman or court decision is made in a consumer’s favour and the financial institution is unable to pay. CHOICE is calling for this scheme to apply to all financial products and services that come within the Australian Financial Complaints Authority’s jurisdiction. As drafted, it is very limited and only applies to five financial products and services. It would cover decisions on compensation dating back to November 2018.

CHOICE is calling for a Financial Accountability Regime that would hold finance executives personally accountable for misconduct. Under the regime, financial executives would be subject to:

  • Deferred remuneration obligations; and

  • Disqualification from operating as an accountable executive.

However, the government has backflipped on its proposal to have civil penalties of over $1 million for leaders who break the law. These penalties need to be reinstated. Individual penalties send a clear message to executives and managers that misconduct will have serious repercussions.

We need to show the government that there is overwhelming public support for passing strong banking reforms. If thousands of us back calls for the government to keep its promise for strong protections, they’ll have to stay true to their word and fix their watered down proposals.
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