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Banks to be Better Policed

Following a week of speculation, Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has this morning confirmed how the government will proceed with reported changes to surveillance of the banking and financial services system.

Mr Morrison this morning confirmed that the banks will be expected to foot a $121 million bill to increase the resources of the corporate regulator.

This includes $61 million for enhanced data analytics and surveillance capabilities and $57 million for increased surveillance and investigation and prosecution capacities. Further, there will be an appointment of an additional commissioner to ASIC with special expertise in prosecution.

ASIC will also be exempt from the Public Service Act 1999, in an effort to make it easier to recruit people from the corporate sector. The government will also recommend that the financial services ombudsman changes its thresholds to provide greater access for the treatment of claims and compliance.

In addition, Mr Morrison announced there will be another review which looks at the broader ranging tribunal models that could be considered by the government "to ensure that people's complaints can get to a point of mediation and consideration" within a reasonable period of time without having to use lawyers".

We welcome the announcement as it will enable further surveillance big banks and enforcement in areas of responsible lending, misconduct and breach reporting. For too long the big banking institutions in this country have failed to meet reasonable standards of appropriate behaviour. Moving forward, a better financial system will mean greater confidence and trust by consumers.

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