Keeping the heat on banks

State KAP Leader and member for Traeger Robbie Katter is hopeful the Royal Commission will continue to apply the blowtorch to dodgy lenders when it hears from farmers in the coming weeks.
“The Royal Commission has done a good job so far, exposing some very poor bank behaviour in retail banking and wealth management and I hope they don’t take the foot off the pedal now,” he said.
Mr Katter said the Queensland agriculture industry had been dealing with dodgy banking practices for many years but successive Governments had swept the problem under the rug.
More than two years ago Mr Katter, as chair of the Queensland Government funded Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce, investigated issues with financial services provided to the Queensland agricultural sector.
A key recommendation from the Taskforce was a Royal Commission to investigate dodgy behaviour within the finance sector.
“The Taskforce came across many alarming situations involving banks and Queensland farmers and graziers,’’ he said.
“Unfortunately, we have to hear these stories again because neither the ALP nor LNP were willing to fully implement the Taskforce recommendations.
“Plenty of farmers will make the long trek to Brisbane for the Royal Commission hearings and I’m sure it will be horrible experience to recount what happened to them.’’
Another key recommendation of the Taskforce was the creation of a Rural and Industries Development Bank to offer suitably-tailored loans to regional businesses.
“When the KAP introduced a Bill into the Parliament to establish a development bank, both the Labor Government and LNP opposition voted against it,’’ Mr Katter said.
“Both Labor and the LNP had an opportunity to address the very same issues the federal Royal Commission is hearing about.
“They should be ashamed because we’re going to hear the same stories of shocking behaviour by the banks and it could’ve been addressed two years ago.
“As far as I could tell, they voted against a development bank not because they thought it was a bad idea but because it was a KAP initiative. It was pretty typical ‘major party’ behaviour”.
Stage 4 of the Financial Services Royal Commission begins on June 25 in Brisbane and will focus on issues effecting Australians who live in remote and regional communities which related to farming finance, natural disaster insurance and interaction between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and financial service entities.

You may also like...