Heritage Bank has welcomed Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to call a Royal Commission into the banking sector and put an end to ongoing political posturing, CEO Peter Lock said today.
However Mr Lock said that the customer-owned banking sector, which included Heritage, should not be dragged into an inquiry based on the alleged wrong doings of the big banks.
“The whole issue of the need for an inquiry into the banking sector has been used as political football for far too long,” Mr Lock said
“The debate seems to have become more a way of scoring political points than anything else.
“A Royal Commission will show once and for all whether there is any substance to the allegations that have been put forward and will help restore confidence in our banking system, which is one of the best in the world.”
Mr Lock said while Heritage was pleased that a Royal Commission will bring the issues to a head, it would be unfortunate if the customer-owned sector was drawn into an inquiry over issues that did not apply to it.
“The issues of poor behavior that have prompted calls for a Royal Commission have all come from the shareholder-owned banking sector, which is driven by a different ethos to the customer-owned sector,” he said.
“Pulling customer-owned institutions like Heritage into this kind of inquiry punishes us for the alleged excesses of the shareholder-owned banks.
“We’re more than happy to have our integrity and prudential standards examined, but our sector is different and there should be some acknowledgement of that.”