How George Brandis voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should establish a Royal Commission into misconduct within the banking and financial services sector.

Division George Brandis Supporters vote Division outcome

19th Apr 2016, 7:47 PM – Senate Motions - Financial Services - Royal Commission into banking sector

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to establish a Royal Commission into misconduct in the banking financial services sector. The motion was introduced by Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the recommendations of the 2014 Economics References Committee inquiry into the performance of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission,

(ii) the misconduct that has been uncovered in the financial planning arms of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, ANZ Bank and Macquarie Bank,

(iii) that IOOF are being investigated for insider trading and front-running,

(iv) That the insurance arm of the Commonwealth Bank is alleged to have unfairly and fraudulently denied life insurance claims,

(v) that court proceedings have been initiated against ANZ Bank and Westpac for manipulation of the bank-bill swap rate, and

(vi) the lending practices of ANZ Bank and Bendigo Bank that contributed to the collapse of forestry managed investment schemes;

(b) calls on the Government to establish a Royal Commission into misconduct in the banking financial services sector; and

(c) notes That the Australian Greens moved a motion for the Senate to support a Royal Commission on 24 June 2015.

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

19th Apr 2016, 6:41 PM – Senate Motions - Financial Services - Establish a Royal Commission

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to establish a Royal Commission into misconduct in the banking and financial services industry. The motion was introduced by Labor Senator Anne McEwen.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the confidence and trust in the financial services industry has been shaken by ongoing revelations of scandals, which have resulted in tens of thousands of Australians being ripped off, including:

(A) retirees who have had their retirement savings gutted,

(B) families who have been rorted out of hundreds of thousands of dollars,

(C) small business owners who have lost everything, and

(D) life insurance policy holders who have been denied justice,

(ii) the first 3 months of 2016 alone have seen:

(A) allegations of serious misconduct in the insurance industry,

(B) the launch of an investigation into several banks for bank bill swap rate fixing, and

(C) allegations that major financial institutions have supported systematic tax avoidance as a result of the disclosure of the Panama Papers,

(iii) it is clear from the breadth and scope of the allegations That the problems in this industry go beyond any one bank or type of financial institution,

(iv) on 6 April 2016, the Prime Minister himself said 'There have been too many troubling incidents over recent times for them simply to be dismissed',

(v) Australian Labor Party, the Australian Greens, crossbench, Australian Liberal Party and The Nationals parliamentarians have supported further investigation of these allegations through a Royal Commission, and

(vi) Australia has one of the strongest banking systems in the world, but Australians must have confidence in their banks and financial institutions, making it necessary to sweep away doubt and uncover and deal with unethical behaviour that compromises that confidence; and

(b) calls on the Prime Minister to request His Excellency the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia issue Letters Patent to establish a Royal Commission to inquire into misconduct in the banking and financial services industry.

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

24th Jun 2015 – Senate Committees — Financial Services

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Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson moved

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

  • (i) the recommendations of the Economics References Committee inquiry into the performance of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and

  • (ii) the allegations that financial planners at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, ANZ Bank, Macquarie Bank and, most recently, IOOF had engaged in unethical and/or unlawful activity; and

(b) calls on the Government to establish a royal commission into misconduct within the financial services sector.

Peter Whish-Wilson explained:

It is time for a broad-ranging royal commission in this country into white collar crime and misconduct in the financial services sector. Nearly 12 months ago, the Senate inquiry of the Economics Committee made a recommendation for a royal commission into the Commonwealth Bank. Following that, in the last 12 months, thanks to some brave whistleblowers and some dogged reporting from Fairfax journalists, we have seen allegations and revelations of misconduct at Macquarie Bank, ANZ, National Australia Bank and, recently, at IOOF. How many more scandals are lurking under the surface?

Although the Senate has done some good work, and I do commend some of my colleagues in this chamber for their work, the committee made a recommendation for a good reason. That is, a royal commission would have the powers to get to the bottom of this and sort it out once and for all for the good of the financial services sector and for the good of the Australian people. I recommend my fellow senators support this motion

Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield argued that a Royal Commission was not needed due to existing scrutiny of the financial services sector and ongoing inquiries.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

How "never voted" is worked out

Normally a person's votes count towards a score which is used to work out a simple phrase to summarise their position on a policy. However in this case George Brandis was absent during all divisions for this policy. So, it's impossible to say anything concrete other than that they have "never voted" on this policy.