Labor to pursue CBA bank scandal

Labor won’t let the scandal surrounding the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning arm get swept under the carpet, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says.


A Senate committee has called for a royal commission into allegations of fraud, forgery and other misconduct in the bank’s financial planning division.

However, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has talked down the prospect of any inquiry, saying the industry has made many improvements in recent years.

Senator Cormann has introduced new regulations this week, which strike out protections put in place by Labor under its Future Of Financial Advice reforms.

Labor, the Greens and the Palmer United Party will seek to overturn the government’s regulation changes when the Senate sits next week.

Mr Shorten said the Commonwealth Bank and its planners had left thousands of people “millions of dollars worse off”.

“I know there is a lot of good financial planners out there, but there are some clear scammers out there and I do not believe that the end of this matter has been settled,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

He said Labor would wait and see how the bank and the government responded.

“I don’t believe this matter can be swept under the carpet,” he said.

Mr Shorten said Labor would side with consumers when it came to their rights in dealing with banks.

Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson said the government’s new regulations would allow the banks to continue their sales-driven models that had caused a lot of the problems in the industry.

PUP leader Clive Palmer said his senators would vote with Labor and the Greens to disallow the regulations so that people could be treated fairly.