Banks, Industry Super and a Royal Commission
Malcolm Turnbull was dragged kicking and screaming by Australian Unions and the community into the Royal Commission into the banks. There have been countless scandals uncovered by the Commission showing shocking behaviour, including charging dead people for financial advice, forcing blind pensioners out of their homes and telling a father he should have read the fine print on his deceased daughters insurance policy.
Despite the scandals and systemic rip-offs by the banks, the Commission has been ordered by the Turnbull Government to also target unions and industry super funds. The Turnbull Government has always put the big banks first – giving more money and more power to them and big business ahead of justice for Australian workers and customers.
We now know that industry super funds have delivered better average returns for members for 15 years, by returning profits to members not shareholders and by investing in job-creating projects – not just throwing it at the stock market.
The banks have been ripping people off as a business model while paying their executives huge salaries and making record profits. The CEOs of the 4 big banks plus Macquarie get paid $45.57 million per year. Despite this outrageous excess and everything we have heard about the scandalous conduct of our big banks; the Turnbull Government still wants to give them a $17 billion tax cut.
This Royal Commission should be focusing on cases which have still yet to be heard, and prioritising giving justice to the families and workers who have been mercilessly ripped off by the banks.
The Australian community expects justice for victims of the big banks from this Royal Commission. Anything less will be unacceptable and deem this Commission a failure. We cannot let the Royal Commission become distracted by a political fight against industry super – a world leading high performing achievement of the Australian Union movement.
Over the next few weeks the Commission will likely be seeking to damage industry funds and unions instead of solving the problems that exist in the big banks. But so far the commission has only been able to confirm the value and benefits that industry superannuation funds deliver for members.
The only acceptable outcome of this Commission is that our banks are held to account and that they have to keep their hands off workers’ super.