1 December 2017
Transcript - #2017237, 2017

Interview with David Koch, Channel 7 Sunrise

SUBJECTS: Royal Commission – Banks and Financial Services

DAVID KOCH:

Scott Morrison, are the banks scaremongering here? Could this Royal Commission really lead to higher interest rates?

TREASURER:

One of the reasons we’ve been fairly reluctant on this is we’ve been concerned about what all this politics could mean for our banking and financial system. Everybody’s job, as you know, depends on the banking and financial system – everybody’s mortgage. So that’s why by taking control of this, which is what we’ve done, to make sure this is a very focused and targeted inquiry – not some sort of political circus, and I think we can mitigate the sorts of risks that have been floated there and this is adding to all the actions that we’ve already taken with the banks – in particularly to make them accountable and stronger and more competitive.

KOCH:

Okay. The banks have just reported record profits, interest rates are at record lows so it’s got to be bunkum, doesn’t it? That this Royal Commission will force them to put up interest rates or create uncertainty. We’ve got a really strong sector and it isn’t showing any signs of that.

TREASURER:

I don’t think there’s any excuse for them to do any of those things, frankly, because the Government has been taking action, we’ve taken the action to give certainty which is one of the issues they raised with me over the course of the week and we need to get on and do this and make sure everybody gets back to work, gets back to their business. What we’ve announced, the Prime Minister and I, adds certainty to this and makes sure it’s focused and people can get on with their business and people can get on with their lives.

KOCH:

For 18 months, you really fought a banking inquiry, have you been bullied into this by some wayward backbenchers and also the Labor party and independents?

TREASURER:

No, what we’ve done is there was a lot of politics in this and that politics was damaging our economy, it was damaging the credibility of our banking system and it was necessary for us to take this action. It was regrettable but necessary – sometimes in politics you’ve got to pick the least worse option, David, and that’s what leadership requires.

KOCH:

Okay, Treasurer, thanks for joining us this morning.

TREASURER:

Thanks, David.