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Greens push wish list for banking inquiry

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December 04, 2017

Peter Whish-Wilson wants broad terms of reference for the royal commission into the banks.

Malcolm Turnbull's "backflip with a full pike and double twist" on a banking royal commission last week was welcomed by Greens senators.

Nevertheless, the minor party is continuing to fight for the terms of reference to be expanded after writing to Treasurer Scott Morrison on Friday.

"A slap on the wrist, a dog and pony show where CEOs come into the parliament and whisper sweet nothings into the ears of parliamentarians is not going to cut the mustard." Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

But he's not holding his breath for a reply from Mr Morrison.

Malcolm Turnbull agreed to hold a royal commission into the banks after a separate inquiry pushed by junior coalition partners the Nationals threatened to find the numbers to pass parliament.

The commission, overseen by former High Court judge Kenneth Hayne, will start next year, cost $75 million and have 12 months to complete its inquiries.

Its terms of reference are being drafted.

The Greens want the royal commission to consider important "macro-prudential", or big picture, issues including broader regulatory settings - something explicitly excluded in the draft terms of reference.

They also want it to examine the "too big to fail guarantees" of unqualified government support for big banks in times of crisis.

Senator Whish-Wilson said these had been in place for too long and encouraged risky behaviour.

The Greens would also like the commission to examine the influence of political donations from the financial sector - something the Nationals had agreed to include in their version of the inquiry.

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