Diversion won’t work: Parliament must stop government’s attempt to give big banks more power over working peoples’ superannuation

Statement from ACTU Assistant Secretary Scott Connolly

The weak Prime Minister and his divided government's attempt to take the focus away from the big banks’ scandals, and direct it at well performing industry super, treats the Australian public like mugs.

The ACTU urges all politicians to stop the government’s legislation, which will give big banks more power over working peoples’ superannuation, by blocking it in the Senate.

Independent research found that scandals committed by the big banks have cost Australian workers more than $480 million since 2015. (Details provided below).

Worst still, the banks are currently under investigation by ASIC for ripping off between $800 million and $1.8 billion from workers’ super accounts.

Industry Super has returned workers more than banking super, and has not ripped off working people.

Big banks have been engaged in money laundering for terrorists and drug dealers.

Attempting to smear well performing, scandal free, industry super is a shameless and nakedly political stunt.

Our concern is that this attempted diversion will let big banks off the hook. We can only assume that the government is seeking to shift the focus in order to protect big banks terrible behaviour.

Allowing the big banks to set their own terms of reference, and trying to smear industry super, risks making this important process a farce

The Royal Commission needs to address the cause of the long list of scandals committed by big banks.

We need urgent reform to the banking sector to:

  • End offshoring banking and finance jobs – keep our jobs and sensitive financial data in Australia
  • De-couple sales targets and performance incentives from wages
  • Bank branch guarantee to ensure banks don’t reduce the number of bank branches in suburban, regional and rural communities
  • A review of unnecessary fees and charges
  • Limits on executive pay
  • More accountability for bank executives for their actions
  • An investigation into cross-selling of superannuation products
  • An investigation into the profits made from bank-owned super funds, and how this conflicts with the sole-purpose test


Media contact: Peter Green 0400 764 200 or ACTU Media 03 9664 7315