Push for another banking inquiry


Looks like the local rag is a bit slow with the news.

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:tired_face:Cynic hat on:
Perhaps if the political parties stopped taking donations from banks, we would be more likely to have a real enquiry?
:Cynic hat off :sleeping:

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Dismissing the obvious politics of this, does the ACCC need permission from the government to investigate any (anti-)competition issues?

I would guess two barriers to competition:

  • barriers placed by the government itself - at least some of which are well-motivated, but the sheer weight of regulation and bureaucracy is there
  • lack of bank account portability - although that has partly been addressed by the recent round of changes relating to “pay ID” - that “noone” is using :slight_smile:

Yes and no.

The ACCC is independent on the surface. The Chairman/head is appointed by the Government, so the appointees are rarely if ever opponents of the Government, and are more likely ‘cut from the same cloth’ both politically and in philosophically.

While they don’t have to do what the Government tells them, in general they tend to respond to the Government’s desires and intentions. Otherwise, resources and funding will be cut, and/or the body will undergo a Machinery of Goverment change. That is, abolished or merged with another organisation. Paraphrasing Sir Humphrey Appleby: it would be very courageous decision for the Chairman to not abide by the Government’s wishes.


I also think for the ACCC to run its won separate inquiry, it would have a significant impact on the ACCC budget. As the ACCC is funded by the government (and partly by fines imposed by the courts), it would need government to approve its increased budget to fund such an inquiry.

I imagine that the first question of government would be why is another inquiry needed so soon after the Royal Commission…especially when the RC cost the taxpayer a significant amount.

Maybe the government would be better placed to hold an inquiry into the operations of ACCC, APRA, ASIC etc to see if they are fulfilling their charter and also if they have the necessary resources to do such. If a resource deficiency is found, a decision needs to be made into how to best provide such resources to ensure there is long term trust developed in the insurance and financial sectors. Maybe the Major Bank Levy could be used for such purposes.


That is the first thing that arose in my mind. I think the answer would be: The RC was looking at bad behaviour, while the ACCC would look at competition.

Wouldn’t be very fair to fund the entirety of the ACCC and ASIC from a levy on banks. It could perhaps be justified to fund the one-off cost of an ACCC inquiry into the banking sector from a levy on banks.

Ultimately though it all comes out of your pocket and my pocket.


I agree, a great option!
It may be an easy option from a public/consumer view point, but would that not also focus attention back on the government of the day?

Including all the recommendations of prior RC’s that have not been reliably acted on!

I see similarities in how this might not be politically palatable from @meltam observation suggesting why the government would desire to avoid such an enquiry.

Australia has the benefit of a largely independent judiciary who typically lead enquires. The Govt of the day is not beyond stacking the deck (perceptions perhaps) where possible. Although not to the same degree as some other democracies where the principal law arbiters are political appointees, and noted for their personal view points.

Actions speak louder than words, which ever way the Government chooses to proceed.


push for another banking inquiry

It’s happening.