Big four banks’ COVID-19 response under scrutiny

Issue date: Wednesday, 2 September 2020

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With the impact of COVID-19 still being felt around the country, executives from Australia’s four major banks will appear before a parliamentary committee in hearings over the next two Fridays to discuss their response to the pandemic.

Chair of the House of Representatives Economics Committee, Tim Wilson MP, says the hearings are part of the parliament’s role in publicly scrutinising and holding Australia’s four major banks to account.

‘The Economics Committee and I are keen to discuss the banks’ response to the pandemic with the benefit of hindsight and bring forward new issues about Australia’s economic recovery,’ Mr Wilson said.

‘Since the start of the pandemic, the Australian Government has introduced a range of support measures in cooperation with the banks. It’s really important that financial institutions are held accountable and that they are treating consumers fairly during what is a difficult time for many Australians.’

‘We are also keen to hear about the consequences of mortgage and small and medium business loan deferrals, and where there are opportunities for reform of responsible lending laws in light of the RBA Governor’s recent evidence to the committee’.

In addition to COVID-19, the hearings will examine the four major banks’ progress in implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

’The committee will scrutinise the banks on how they are improving their practices and rebuilding trust in the sector. In particular, the committee will question banks regarding compliance issues that have continued to come to light, such as Westpac’s compliance failings in relation to its transaction reporting system,’ Mr Wilson said.

‘Failures of this type have once again shaken the community’s trust in financial institutions, and these hearings give the committee an opportunity to follow up on how they can be prevented in the future so that the industry can regain the community’s trust.’

For more information about the hearings, or to read transcripts from previous hearings, you can visit the Committee’s website.

Public hearing details

Date: Friday 4 September 2020
Time: 9.15 am to 4.15 pm
Witnesses: ANZ, CBA
Location: Via videoconference

Date: Friday 11 September 2020
Time: 9.15 am to 4.15 pm
Witnesses: Westpac, NAB
Location: Via videoconference

The hearing will be broadcast live at

Media enquiries

Mr Tim Wilson MP
Electorate: 03 9557 4644
Parliament: 02 6277 2392

For background information

Committee Secretariat
02 6277 4587

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