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Sunday 24

February, 2019 4:45 PM



Bankers should see charges, jail: Shorten

Bankers should see charges, jail: Shorten

Bill Shorten says Australians will suspect a banking royal commission cover-up unless bankers are charged and sent to jail.

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By AAP 08.02.2019 12:19 PM

Australians will think there has been a cover-up if no bankers are charged or go to jail because of the royal commission, Bill Shorten says.

The federal government has amended its program for the Senate next week to include tougher measures to deal with superannuation industry misconduct, arising from the banking royal commission.

But the Labor leader says the coalition isn't moving fast enough on the commission's recommendations.

"If no-one out of the banks goes to jail, if no one gets prosecuted or charged, I think Australians will say there's been a cover-up," Mr Shorten told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

"We want to make sure the parliament does its bit to restore faith in our banking sector."

An initial draft Senate program did not include a move to ensure superannuation fund trustees could face civil penalties for breaches of their best interests obligations.

But a redrafted program issued on Friday included the bill, and fast-tracked for debate another piece of legislation known as the Protecting Your Superannuation package.

NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn and chairman Ken Henry on Thursday announced they were quitting their roles after strong criticism from Commissioner Kenneth Hayne.

Mr Thorburn will finish up on February 28, while Dr Henry indicated he would retire from the board once a new permanent CEO had been appointed.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison dodged a question on Friday about whether he thought it was appropriate for Dr Henry to have a hand in finding the bank's new chief.

"I said the other day that the royal commissioner had some fairly sharp assessments to make, and that people would reflect on those, and they have," he told reporters in Sydney.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has pledged to tackle a number of financial services reforms before the election, already announcing an independent review of the prudential regulator.

He says the government is taking action on every recommendation of the inquiry, while also proceeding cautiously with respect to upfront fees for mortgage brokers.

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