Murray Inquiry sends CBA scandal to file thirteen

file thirteen

Last week the senate inquiry into the ASIC and CBA planners scandal called for a royal commission to fully air the dirty dealings, apparent cover-ups and regulatory failings. Both Finance Minister Mathias Cormman and Treasurer Joe Hockey declared that no such inquiry was necessary because we already have a banking inquiry underway.

Well, today, that banking inquiry, headed by former CBA CEO David Murray leaked to the AFR that it won’t be touching the CBA either:

The financial system inquiry, which publishes its interim report this Tuesday, is expected to propose tightening the regulations covering financial advice, including toughening educational requirements for planners.

However, the inquiry, chaired by former Commonwealth Bank chief executive David Murray, will steer clear of CBA’s financial planning scandal.

…Sources said the inquiry has gone to great lengths to adopt a consultative approach in its dealings with the financial services industry and had treated the arguments put to it very seriously.

…When Treasurer Joe Hockey set up the inquiry in December, he asked it to examine how Australia’s financial system should be positioned to meet Australia’s financial needs and support economic growth.

Yet another plutocratic corruption scandal sent through the wormhole to file thirteen between time and space.

Houses and Holes
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  1. There is evidence to suggest that banks have been engaged in systematic unlawful activities – including criminally dishonest activities – at least in some jurisdictions.

    In Australia, a handful of corporations are able to both carry out the organised, criminal appropriation of moneys and hold banking licences at the same time. We have licenced some corporations to steal from users of the payments system. This is a completely untenable position.

    There really has to be an investigation by a properly empowered authority into the unlawful practices of banks and then they should be prosecuted.

      • The Murray Inquiry is a feeble excuse for an inquiry. We need a properly constituted investigative agency with the power to compel testimony and obtain evidence, and that has the resources to master the financial and technical capacities of the largest corporations.

        The banks are engaged in unlawful and very profitable activities. These need to be fully exposed and the system that permits them to occur needs to be reformed.

      • By inquiry you really mean ” we already have the fox investigating the dead chicken in the hen house”.

        Seriously, its a complete unconstitutional farce and to refer to it as an inquiry in a manner that suggests it is in any way legitimate is a disgrace!

  2. General Disarray

    …Its key interim finding is that, “many areas of the financial system are operating effectively and do not require substantial change.”

    However, it warns against complacency and says the financial sector will have to confront challenges from future financial crises, pressure on the Federal Government’s budget from an ageing population, stagnant productivity growth in the economy, technology advances in financial services and greater international integration.

    A key issue in banking has been competition, and the dominance of the big four banks.

    On that front, the inquiry has found that the financial services sector has become more concentrated since the Wallis Inquiry of the 1990s.

    However, the report finds the industry is still competitive, with the net interest margins – the different between rates banks borrow at and what they lend at and a key source of profit – of the major banks around historic lows.

    It does suggest, though, that smaller institutions may be disadvantaged in the home loan market because they have to assign a higher risk to mortgages than the major banks, forcing them to hold more funding and raising their costs.

    The committee suggests the status quo is acceptable, but it is considering the merits of lowering risk weights for mortgages held by the smaller institutions, providing government support for the mortgage securitisation market which on-sells a bundle of home loans to investors or changing the treatment of mortgage securities to class them as high quality liquid assets.

    Securitised mortgages in the US, mainly those consisting of ‘sub-prime’ or more marginal borrowers, were the key trigger for the global financial crisis.

  3. Why would anyone be surprised by no inquiry into the CBA etc?

    Is anyone really going to be surprised by a ‘light touch’ report on financial services?

    What would Sir Humphrey Appleby say?