SYDNEY, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Chief Executive Shayne Elliott on Wednesday said the country’s banking sector has come under scrutiny from the public, regulators and the government following a series of scandals.
Australia’s banks have come under intense political pressure amid calls for a powerful judicial inquiry into the financial sector, following revelations of misleading financial advice, insurance fraud and alleged interest-rate rigging.
The conservative government has resisted opposition demands for a Royal Commission inquiry but it is supporting the establishment of a banking tribunal that could throw a spotlight on lenders’ operations and expose them to greater legal risk.
“It’s been a very difficult environment for industry,” Elliott said at a Reuters Newsmaker event in Sydney, adding: “I don’t think it’s just going to go away”.
“We’re under understandable scrutiny from the public at large and through regulators and through politicians.”
ANZ is Australia’s third-largest bank by market value.
Lawmakers last week recommended a banking customer complaints tribunal should be set up by July next year, to make binding decisions while minimising the involvement of lawyers.
The recommendation, however, failed to dampen calls from the opposition Labor Party for a Royal Commission into the broader financial industry.
Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Stephen Coates