Momentum for a banking Royal Commission continues to build with Labor and The Greens tempting National cross-benchers to “cross the floor” in support of an inquiry. From The AFR:
Mr Shorten and his senior shadow ministers will work on wooing a Coalition MP, most likely a Nationals MP, to cross the floor and support a resolution calling for the bank probe, in a bid to embarrass the government. Labor and the Greens will easily have the numbers to pass a resolution in the Senate.
While a resolution would not force the government’s hand, Labor believes having both Houses of Parliament supporting a bank royal commission would, a source said, be “highly problematic for the government”.
Nationals senators John Williams and Matt Canavan have previously called for a banking Royal Commission, suggesting there may be enough support from within the National Party to force a resolution in the House of Representatives.
However, a resolution alone cannot force a Royal Commission, since only the executive government has the powers to create one. So the Coalition will need to be pressured/embarrassed into pursuing a banking Royal Commission.
The rationale for pursuing a Royal Commission into the banks is as compelling as ever and includes:
- damning evidence of bank manipulation of the bank bill swap rate, which the banks have shown no contrition over;
- the 1000-plus examples whereby borrowers’ loan documentation has been forged by the banks (see here, here, here and here), again with little remorse shown; and
- overall dodgy lending standards.
The corporate regulator, ASIC, has proven utterly inept in investigating and prosecuting these cases, meaning there is little choice but to conduct a sweeping Royal Commission into the banks’ practices.