Banks’ behaviour reveals a culture of lawlessness in financial services sector


The Finance Sector Union of Australia (FSU) believes there is a culture of lawlessness in the financial services sector and fully supports the action of regulators to prosecute banks which break Australia’s laws.

However, when compared to the Draconian legislation being proposed by the Morrison Government under its so-called ‘Ensuring Integrity’ Bill, the banks are getting little more than a slap on the wrist.

“Today we have an appalling case of Westpac being accused of breaking money laundering laws on 23 million occasions, illegally moving $11 billion dollars. The allegations include claims of potential child exploitation,” said Finance Sector Union National Secretary Julia Angrisano.

“Yesterday the Commonwealth Bank pleaded guilty to illegally selling life insurance to consumers through unsolicited phone calls after being criminally charged by ASIC,” she said.

“And earlier this month the National Australia Bank admitted to 255 breaches of credit laws and faces financial penalties as a result of the “Introducer” loans scandal.”

“Even though they are finally being targeted by the Federal Government, the banks can negotiate penalties for ripping off customers that barely dent their bottom line. And there is no impact on their ability to continue in business.”

“Josh Freydenberg thinks the current penalties for banks are okay but at the same time he is supporting Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter in an attack on workers and their unions that could see a union shut down for failing to complete paperwork on time.”

“There is no suggestion from the Morrison Government that banks should be closed down for ripping off the public and breaking money laundering laws.”

“But if this anti-union law passes, it will mean the Government can take a big stick to unions and give the banks a slap on the wrist.”

/Public Release.