Bankers must face jail sentences for widespread misconduct: Aussie opposition leader

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-08 17:41:54|Editor: mym
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CANBERRA, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten has insisted that bankers must serve time in prison after a landmark report uncovered systematic misconduct in the industry.

Shorten, the leader of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), said that Australians will believe there has been a "cover up" if culprits walk away from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry without facing repercussions.

His comments came after the National Australia Bank (NAB) announced that chairman Ken Henry and chief executive officer (CEO) Andrew Thorburn had resigned after Commissioner Kenneth Hayne singled out the duo as being incapable of overseeing the necessary cultural change.

"If no one out of the banks goes to jail, if no one gets prosecuted or charged I think Australians would see there has been a cover up. We want to make sure that the parliament does its bit to restore faith in the banking sector," Shorten told reporters on Friday.

Shorten attacked incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison for refusing to schedule extra parliamentary weeks between now and the election to enshrine Hayne's 76 recommendations in law.

"The government won't even let the parliament sit for an extra two weeks before the election because they don't want to talk about the banking royal commission, it seems like they haven't got the message at all," he said.

"I don't know what every bank has done but I think Australians expect there to be real accountability."

Earlier on Friday Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said only "time will tell" if more executives lose their jobs as a result of the royal commission.

"I'm not going to specify individuals or companies other than to make the broadest possible point which is the misconduct must stop," Frydenberg told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio.

"The reports that we saw through the royal commission of fees for no service, fees charged to dead people and the mis-selling of insurance, was absolutely terrible and has had a profound impact on the community."

"Ultimately, and Kenneth Hayne made this point, the responsibility for this conduct falls at the feet of those senior executives and those board members in those companies."