'How come no one has gone to jail?'
IF AUSTRALIANS steal from the banks they go to jail, but Bill Shorten says bank executives who steal from Australians are getting bonuses.
He says it's time for that to change.
"One of the questions I get when I travel round Australia is: 'How come no one from the banks has gone to jail?'" Mr Shorten told reporters in Melbourne this morning.
"When you see all this theft, when you see the systemic looting of Australian consumers.
"If you steal from a bank, you go to jail, but if a bank steals from you, they get a promotion and a bonus and a big car."
Labor is repeating calls for an extended inquiry into banking misconduct despite the royal commissioner insisting he doesn't need more time.
The Opposition will hear from victims through a series of roundtable talks in cities and towns across Australia, kicking off in Melbourne later today. Labor Financial Services spokeswoman Clare O'Neil will lead the discussions to hear more stories from victims, even though commissioner Kenneth Hayne has made it clear he doesn't want more time.
"This is about whether the Government has got the guts and is in this to actually resolve the problems in banking misconduct," she told ABC radio on Tuesday.
"If they were, they would give the royal commission more time to get into these issues."
The commission received more than 10,000 public submissions, but just 27 customers have had their voices heard at the inquiry.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Government had consistently offered to extend the inquiry if the commissioner asked for an extension.
"Bill Shorten thinks he knows better than the royal commissioner. He wants to play politics; the royal commissioner wants to deliver," Mr Frydenberg told reporters in Sydney.
He said the government's focus was on ensuring better conduct in the financial system, with a greater culture of compliance.
Ms O'Neil believes the roundtable talks will help inform Labor policy aimed at making Australia's banking system fairer.
Justice Hayne highlighted an insidious culture of greed permeating the big banks in a scathing three-volume report, but wants to finish the inquiry promptly.
His interim report found widespread misconduct. Banks had gone to the edge of what was permitted - and beyond that limit - in the pursuit of profit.
"And they have gone beyond the limit because they can and because they profit from the misconduct that is described in this report," he said.
You can read more details from his interim report here.