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BFCSA: Banking royal commission 'more transparent' than ASIC investigation, Labor says

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Banking royal commission 'more transparent' than ASIC investigation, Labor says

 By political reporter Caitlyn Gribbin



Updated 13 Apr 2016, 8:50amWed 13 Apr 2016, 8:50am


Chris Bowen has been pressuring the Government to call a royal commission into the banking industry. 

 Related Story: Murray offers the Government a way out from bank royal commission (Well  Cartel Member David Murray would say that wouldn't he?)


 The Federal Opposition says it has evidence that a royal commission into the banking and finance sector would be more transparent than an Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigation.


  Key points:


•Labor pushing for formal probe into banking misconduct

•Parliamentary Library advice says ASIC investigation would be less transparent than royal commission

•Treasurer says ASIC has greater powers than commission

 The Federal Government said "serious issues" in the banking industry needed to be addressed, but has rejected the Opposition's calls for a royal commission, saying ASIC had the same powers and could use them immediately.


 But shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said analysis from the Parliamentary Library showed ASIC's investigations and questioning usually occurred behind closed doors.


 "ASIC conducts its affairs in private whereas a royal commission would be a thorough and public and transparent aeration of the issues," Mr Bowen said.


 "The Australian people deserve the transparency that goes with a royal commission."


 Treasurer Scott Morrison has said ASIC had greater powers than a royal commission, and this week flagged potential funding increases for the regulator after it shed more than 200 jobs due to budget cuts since the Coalition came to power.


 Advice provided by the Parliamentary Library, obtained by the ABC, states transparency is a "key difference" between a royal commission and an inquiry by ASIC.


 "The problem with relying on an ASIC investigation alone flows from the lack of public transparency around the use of an ASIC inquiry," the Parliamentary Library advice reads.


 "Only a very small proportion of matters dealt with by ASIC lead to prosecution and thus may become public.


 "This is because the evidence required for criminal prosecution is necessarily a tough burden to meet."


 'Undesirable' details could be kept secret during ASIC probe


 A royal commission has no power to prosecute misconduct but may refer matters to other investigatory bodies.


 What is a royal commission?


 Bill Shorten says an incoming Labor government would hold a royal commission into misconduct in the banking industry. We look at the role of royal commissions and what would likely be involved.


 The Parliamentary Library advice warns an ASIC investigation may mean "undesirable, deeply cultural" behaviour in the banking and finance sector may never be publicly revealed if criminal prosecution does not result.


 The advice said a royal commission may "facilitate understanding of the nature and extent of the problem" and could contribute to proposals for legal reform.


 "The litany of media stories covering a range of inappropriate conduct in different contexts within the banking sector may be grounds for arguing that a royal commission would be better suited to dealing, identifying and addressing issues of concern in the banking sector."




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  • Duped
    Duped Thursday, 21 April 2016

    You could imagine the deals ASIC would do behind closed doors, nothing basically would change.
    Transparency is the key issue, a Royal Commission examines criminal conduct in an open forum for every person to hear. When the Royal Commission comes across a serious issue ( and there will be a mountain of them ) it is then ASIC's turn to prosecute, if they don't the public and government will have the right to say that ASIC is inept and hopeless, but we all ready know that. A Royal Commission can delve deeper into issues and can certainly alert ASIC to a crime and from there they can do there job once they get off the couch.
    ASIC would not ask the serious questions a Royal Commission would ask for fear of retaliation from their banking mates, serious questions could be passed off easily so as to not implicate them in a crime. ASIC would not compel banks to hand over vital documents which at present they are hell bent on saying commercially sensitive which we all know is absolutely hog wash and a line the banks repeatedly use. They are all "on song" with each other there and that line is well rehearsed.
    Apart from transparency a Royal Commission will be looking at ASIC themselves, how they have colluded with the banks for favourable outcomes and also their complacency.
    It is a ludicrous idea from Turnbull and his cohorts to have ASIC investigate themselves as well as the banks. ASIC cant expect to keep their dirty little secrets, the dirty deals they've done for all these years, just to appease the banks.
    A ROYAL COMMISION is the only sensible option to the government and the public if it wishes to clean the industry up. Of course they are going to need barrels of disinfectant and washing powder for this grime.

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