Public Hearing for Four Major Banks

Australian national banks, Commonwealth banks, Australian and New Zealand banking groups and Westpac are currently under parliamentary review and will be subject to public hearings of the Standing Committee on the Economy of the House of Representatives to be held in Canberra.

These large banks, more commonly known as "Big Four", will be questioned about the findings of the Royal Bank Inquiry Commission during the hearings.

"These hearings are an important mechanism for holding the four big banks accountable to Parliament," said Tim Wilson, Chair of the committee.

Up to now, the committee has held four rounds of hearings as part of its ongoing review. In addition, he recommended banking reforms, which have been widely implemented by the government to improve outcomes for Australian consumers.

These include the creation of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, a one-stop shop for consumer claims; a regulated bank executive liability regime; and the granting of new powers and resources to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission so that it can investigate competition issues related to setting interest rates.

The government also adopted the committee's proposals to establish an open data regime and to amend the regulatory requirements for the establishment of banks to allow more competition in the sector.

At the hearing held in October, Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn became the first CEO of a major bank to speak in public after the Commissioner Kenneth Hayne had made his interim report at the time. Comyn is excused for the misbehavior of the bank and its inability to quickly remedy the situation of customers.

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