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Liberals sink latest bid for financial services inquiry

The financial services industry has, for now, avoided yet another inquiry, after a Greens-led bill was defeated in the House of Representatives by one vote last week.

The bill passed the Senate on Thursday, when independent Jacquie Lambie – a co-sponsor – asked why the Federal Government has refused to hold a royal commission into the sector.

“It cannot be the cost, because the Government did not think twice about spending about $46 million on the trade union royal commission.

“It cannot be politics, because a poll run by think tank the Australia Institute last year found that 68% of respondents supported a royal commission into the banks.”

Senator Lambie says changes the Coalition Government has made to the financial services industry are inadequate.

“Australia needs to see a cultural shift before the industry can restore its reputation. A commission of inquiry into the banks is not about getting even for the Government’s trade union royal commission.

“It is simply about rooting out any wrongdoing or unethical behaviour by lending organisations and other financial services.”

The bill passed the Senate with a majority of 12.

In the House of Representatives only two members spoke supporting the bill – Greens MP Adam Brandt and independent Bob Katter, placing more focus on bank lending than other parts of the industry.

The bill’s progress towards further debate was scuppered when the Speaker cast his deciding vote against it.

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