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Australia to hold major inquiry into nation’s banks



Customers outside Australia's four biggest banksImage copyright
Reuters

Australia will hold a royal commission inquiry into its banking and financial sector, the government has announced.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the commission – Australia’s highest form of public inquiry – would help restore confidence in the sector.

Australians banks have been embroiled in scandals in recent times.

The announcement came after the chiefs of Australia’s four biggest banks signed a joint letter, calling for an inquiry to end industry uncertainty.

“The only way we can give all Australians a greater degree of assurance is a royal commission into misconduct into the financial services industry,” Mr Turnbull said.

He the “regrettable but necessary” decision had come because calls for an inquiry had begun to undermine confidence in the sector, which could harm the nation’s economy.

Mr Turnbull had previously ruled out an inquiry amid pressure from opposition parties.

The inquiry, covering every Australian financial institution, will run for 12 months and cost A$75m (£42m; $56m), the government said.


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