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RBA says trust in banks 'strained'

The Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe says trust in the country's big banks is "strained", joining the corporate regulator in slamming the culture in the industry.

Dr Lowe on Friday told a parliamentary economics committee hearing that he considered trust, service and risk management to be the three pillars of banking.

"It's fair to say that trust in banking has been strained," Dr Lowe said.

"Banks know that and it needs to be a priority to rebuild trust."

He also slammed poor customer service, saying it has often taken a back seat to sales for Australian banks.

On top of that, Dr Lowe said there were frequent examples of desire for short-term profit leading to insufficient attention to risk management.

Mr Lowe's comments come amid allegations Commonwealth Bank breached money laundering and terrorism financing laws.

On Friday, corporate watchdog ASIC said it is investigating Australia's biggest bank over its response to the allegations by financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC.

Dr Lowe said allegations that CBA failed to provide on-time reports for more than 53,500 transactions were "a very serious matter".

"Something goes wrong, there needs to be accountability," Dr Lowe said.

"I am not going to opine on which individual needs to be held to account, but in general there needs to be accountability."

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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