Canberra Report: Government's in bat for wrong side

Those trying to understand the Turnbull government's motivation for opposing the Royal Commission into the banking and financial services sectors should look to the actions of the Government right back in 2013.

In 2012 the former Labor government legislated to ban the outrageous kickbacks and commissions being paid to advisers by the creators of the financial products they were flogging to their customers.

Those products included the now infamous Storm Financial and Timbercorp Investments.

Many people lost their life savings on these failed ventures.

When Labor lost office the new laws, while legislated, had not yet come into effect.

The commencement as stipulated by the legislation date had not yet arrived.

Labor's law wound back the ability of banks to reward their staff for recommending the products of the bank they worked for.

For complex reasons the new law only applied to future advice but if forced the advisors to tell existing clients how much money was being taken out of their investments each year as commission payments and gave the customer the opportunity to pull out.

But just before Christmas 2013 the Coalition government announced it wanted to make changes to Labor's new law and that the new rules would be watered-down by "regulation".

It then proceeded to do so in the slowest way possible.

The banks and the financial services sector then begged for more time to adjust to the new proposals and the Government and ASIC happily accommodated them.

In the end the government's attempt to water-down the new laws was defeated in the Senate.

But the whole process gave the banks and the financial advises two more years to do their dirty deeds.

Therein lays the explanation for why the Turnbull Government opposed the Royal Commission, they have been batting for the wrong side all along.

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IT was great to recently join local sporing shooters to celebrate Hunter champ Daniel Repacholi's Commonwealth Games gold medal win.

We love our sport and we love our sporting successful stories.

Now we have the Newcastle Jets playing an A-League Grand Final and the icing on the cake is that it is all going to happen right here in the Hunter.

What a great boost for our region. Congratulations to the team and all involved.


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