PM announces banking tribunal

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The bosses of the big four banks appear open to the government’s idea of a tribunal for the sector.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed he will set up a “low cost” tribunal to help victims of bank misconduct: Picture: AAP Picture: AAP

MALCOLM Turnbull claims he is taking real action by confirming his government will set up a tribunal to help victims of bank misconduct.

After the heads of the big four banks appeared before a parliamentary hearing this week, the prime minister revealed the coalition was working towards a tribunal.

But not until it hears from University of Melbourne law professor Ian Ramsay, who is reviewing what form the body should take.

“We will get a low-cost, speedy tribunal to deal with these types of customer complaints against banks and this will be real action,” Mr Turnbull told FIVEaa radio on Friday.

“This is an example of my government governing, taking action now, dealing with these problems now, not kicking them off into the long grass.”

He welcomed several of the banks agreeing on the need for a tribunal.

Labor has been calling for a royal commission into the sector instead, warning of systemic issues.

Former prime minister John Howard has dismissed those calls as “ridiculous”.

“It’s astonishing to even consider a royal commission into a really safe and well-run banking system,” he told The Australian.

Former Prime Minister John Howard has dismissed calls for a royal commission into the banking system as “ridiculous”. Picture” Aaron Francis/The Australian

Former Prime Minister John Howard has dismissed calls for a royal commission into the banking system as “ridiculous”. Picture” Aaron Francis/The AustralianSource:News Corp Australia

Mr Howard said Australia had a well-run and profitable system that helped the nation through the global financial crisis better than anywhere else.

“The idea of holding a royal commission into Australian banks is as ridiculous as holding a royal commission into our trade with China,” he said.

Mr Turnbull said this week’s appearances by bank chiefs before parliament’s house economics committee were about creating real cultural change. He believes the hearings will not just be an annual event.

“They’ll be doing this 20, 30 years from now,” Mr Turnbull said.

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