Katter: More bank hearings = more mea culpa eye-daubing. We need a Royal Commission.
Today saw another round of the Parliamentary hearings into the Big 4 banks. KAP Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter said, “There have been 38 inquires in 7 years. They have not been worth a tinker’s damn. The last one, all the bankers said “mea culpa we are so sorry we have done wrong”. Did they agree to make any changes? No. We had a big long painful sorrowful mea culpa eye-daubing upset over the evil they had done. But did anything come out of it? Absolutely not. Now what’s the different between this and the last 38 inquires which were a rubbishing waste of time?
Today the MPs involved in the Parliamentary inquiry were questioning the Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive who said, according to the hearing transcript that a Royal Commission would be “very damaging” to the banking industry. He said, “I think the message it would send … would not be positive for the unquestionably strong image of the banks.”
Mr Katter is flabbergasted but not surprised by this attitude.
Mr Katter said, “A Royal Commission can deliver. The burning spotlight of public opinion is turned on the banking sector and why the banks are fighting so tenaciously and obsessively to oppose the Royal Commission into banks, is because they are scared silly.
“A Royal Commission will fully expose what they have been doing to the people of Australia. Remember when the housing crisis broke out in America, there were foreclosures everywhere.
“In Australia the banks said ‘oh we are in trouble what will we do???’ -- Put the whip to the backs of the galley slaves, they will have to pay more!”
“The question this raises is, why would a prudential regime of regulation would be damaging to the Banks?
“Clearly there is an implication that they are not working in a prudential, fair and responsible system. And we know they’re not.
“The contract for a loan that you sign is not a contract at all. It is a contract for one party.
“The bank can do anything it likes, whether you’re diligent in your repayments is utterly irrelevant. They can foreclose on the loan whenever they feel like it. We have dozens and dozens of cases where that has taken place.
“If the bankers have liquidity problems through their own gross irresponsibility, basically they solve those problems by selling up a stack of people - whether it is homes, properties or agriculture.
“Where there has been a market fluctuation in housing or agriculture and the market price of the asset goes down -- the debt to equity ratio goes below the bank’s safety threshold and they sell you up, even though you’d met your side of the bargain meticulously.
“A bare minimum requirement for houses and farms would be a standard form, statutory contract with Government arbitrators.
“The casualisation of the work force means no secure income. The housing market in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong is undoubtedly averaging $750,000 but after-tax incomes are under $60,000.
“The banks are financing people into contracts to the point where they cannot possibly stand up. And with recourse lending, the loan recipient takes on 100 per cent risk.”