The Banking Royal Commission highlighted the important role that financial counsellors and lawyers play in assisting victims of banking misconduct but funding for these organisations is currently too low and too insecure to enable them to meet the influx of demand.
A Shorten Labor Government will create a $160 million per year Banking Fairness Fund which will provide important community services that support victims of bank misconduct.
Labor will require the nine biggest banks in Australia, those listed on the ASX 100, to contribute proportionally by market capitalisation to a pool of funding of $160 million per year to support community services, including organisations which provide important assistance to victims of banking misconduct.
This investment by Labor will assist these important community services with a $640 million investment over four years.
Labor will double the number of financial counsellors across Australia, allowing financial counsellors to assist an additional 125,000 Australians every year. Financial counsellors provide invaluable assistance, free of charge, to Australians who find themselves in disputes with their banks and other financial service providers.
Labor will also boost the number of community lawyers across Australia providing specialist financial rights advice from 40 to 240, allowing an additional 150,000 Australians to access free legal advice every year. The 200 extra financial rights lawyers will assist victims of bank and financial service provider misconduct by providing legal advice and running complex cases in court and through the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
We will deliver 20,000 flexible support packages - of up to $10,000 - to survivors of family violence fleeing violent relationships. Financial insecurity is one of the biggest barriers to a woman leaving a violent relationship - something that can persist for years as they rebuild their lives. Each package will be individually designed to address the barriers women and their children face in getting safe and keeping safe.
The Liberals cut emergency relief grants for Australia’s most vulnerable people in severe financial hardship. A Shorten Labor Government will invest $10 million a year reversing these cruel cuts and providing a much needed boost to these local services.
Labor will hold the big banks to account and make sure they contribute to supporting victims of bank misconduct. In stark contrast, the Liberals have spent years trying to give the big banks a $17 billion tax cut.
Labor has a comprehensive plan to restore fairness to financial services.
In true Liberal form, it only took them 36 days to backflip on a recommendation from the Royal Commission recommendation which they had previously committed to implement. The Liberals have cosied up to the Big Banks.
It’s simple: the Liberals cannot be trusted to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission.
Labor’s Banking Fairness Fund will make the banks pay their fair share to support the victims of banking misconduct.