A Senate committee has announced it received more than 1,000 submissions from the public for its inquiry into the banking, insurance and financial sector – a sign that “strong reform” is required.
In a statement yesterday, the Senate economics references committee said it has received 1,300 responses from consumers, including over 700 public responses.
The submissions were collected by consumer group Choice, which sought input from the public about their views on and experiences of rip-offs, dodgy practices and unfair treatment in the sector.
In a letter to the committee, Choice said it “wanted to ensure that the committee heard directly from the group most affected by bad behaviour in the banking, insurance and financial sector: consumers”.
“These are the real stories and comments from Australians struggling with an industry that has caused significant harm to its customers. They show why strong reform to lift consumer protections is essential,” Choice said.
“This overwhelming response shows just how deep community concern runs with culture and practices in the sector,” said Senator Katy Gallagher, shadow minister for small business and financial services.
“In the absence of a royal commission, this inquiry provides an important platform for consideration of further consumer protection measures needed.
“However, Labor will continue to fight for a royal commission because it’s the only thing that can get to the bottom of systemic and cultural issues in the banking and financial services sector.”
Senator Chris Ketter, chair of the Senate economics references committee, added, “This inquiry is allowing those who have been ripped off and unfairly treated to put their stories on the record.
“The Prime Minister has consistently failed to stand up for the victims of financial misconduct in this country, preferring instead to protect his banking friends.”
The inquiry is examining the impact of misconduct in the banking, insurance and financial services sector on victims and on consumers, including small businesses, providing them with the opportunity to put their experiences and views before the committee, the statement said.
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