Labor announces portfolio for member owned firms

10 November 2016

At the BCCM’s 2016 Leaders’ Summit yesterday at Old Parliament House, The Hon. Dr. Andrew Leigh MP, Shadow Assistant Treasurer, said Labor were committed to a suite of policy reforms designed to support Australia’s co-operatives and mutuals, including a new portfolio to oversee the sector, in what is a “historic moment” for the CME sector.

Pointing to the specific role mutual banks and credit unions play in the economy providing much needed competition and choice, Dr Leigh stated Labor’s support for the implementation of the Senate inquiry recommendations and ensuring member owned firms have “fairer access to capital…to compete effectively with large banks and remove unnecessary regulations and thresholds.”

Read: BCCM media release
Read: Labor Announces Portfolio for Member-Owned Firms

BCCM CEO Melina Morrison said the sector overwhelmingly supported the proposed reforms, which would result in a more diverse and inclusive economy, better access to capital for mutual businesses, including customer owned banks, credit unions and building societies, and address the lack of competition within the banking sector.

“While our sector has agreed with recommendations which emerged from the Financial System Inquiry, such as the account portability recommendations, they are not enough in themselves to create a level playing field and better customer choice.”

In addition, Dr Leigh pledged Labor will to host of amendments for the sector including amending the Corporations Act to define mutual enterprises; implement reforms to facilitate new financial instruments for member-owned firms; and Consult with stakeholders on the removal of dual regulatory requirements on cooperatives that seek to issue securities (member shares or securities such as CCUs) across state borders, and broader capital issues;

These reforms will promote ethical competition and productivity, as well as encouraging social investment and the well-being of workers small businesses and help change the culture and practices of the financial services industry concluded Dr Leigh.

Read: 2016 National Mutual Economy Report: Top 100 CMEs grow by 4%

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