You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Labor defends banks commission time frame

AAP logoAAP 15/08/2016 By Jennifer Rajca

Royal commissions take time, but that's what is needed to get to the bottom of years of illegal and unethical behaviour on the part of big banks, federal Labor insists.

Opposition financial services spokeswoman Katy Gallagher is continuing to talk up the merits of an inquiry, seizing on a push by some coalition backbenchers for a tribunal instead.

Liberal MP Warren Entsch and Nationals senator John Williams are pursuing the idea to help victims of so-called "bank bastardry".

"There have been some serious bastard acts committed by the big banks and we don't need a royal commission to tell us that," Mr Entsch told The Australian on Tuesday.

"I am going to be pushing very hard for the tribunal in the first instance. That is my preferred way of going about it, because at the end of the day it is all about the victims, not about the bloody banks."

Senator Gallagher says Labor hasn't seen the details of Mr Entsch's proposal.

"There is division within the government again about Malcolm Turnbull's response to the banking industry and legitimate concerns held by Australian people into that industry," she told reporters in Canberra.

"When Malcolm Turnbull fails to show leadership on issues relating to the banking sector, don't worry you've got your back bench there trying to show the leadership, trying to offer an alternative and actually respond to the issues the community is seeing."

Senator Gallagher acknowledged a royal commission could take time.

"We have seen these scandals, we have seen the rip-offs of tens of thousands of Australians happen over some time as well."

Customers deserved to know the system in the future was as strong as it can be, she said.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce wasn't aware of the tribunal proposal.

"I'm only too happy to listen to Wacka (Williams) and to listen to Entschy and find out what they've got to say," he told ABC radio.

But Mr Joyce warned against duplicating the work already done by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

"We hear what people are saying," he said.

Bank heads will have to appear at least once a year before the House of Representatives economics committee to face questions under a plan announced recently by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Entsch will present a victim's impact statement to Mr Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison next week, as he argues for a tribunal.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon