The Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia has again represented the interests of the entire Australian shooting industry over ongoing concerns with financial institutions that refuse essential banking services to businesses within our industry.
The Council of Financial Regulators have released a report, Potential Policy Responses to De-banking in Australia, with 4 key recommendations designed to tackle the issue of de-banking:
- Collecting de-banking data
- New transparency and fairness measures
- Published guidance on risk tolerance to affected sectors by the major four banks
- Funding targeted education
Whilst SIFA acknowledges and supports the recommendations, we have made a further representation to the Department of the Treasury highlighting the terms of reference for the report were quite narrow and targeted at Financial Technology businesses, and that wider consideration needs to be given to ensure all industry sectors benefit from any planned reforms.
SIFA has long advocated that the denial of banking services to the firearms industry actually increases the risks that de-banking seeks to mitigate, as firearms dealers are a critical and legislated part of Australia’s firearms regulations and therefore make a practical contribution towards public safety.
Like all legitimate businesses, firearms dealers require access to financial services to operate efficiently and safely. The removal of essential of banking services from our industry is also causing businesses significant financial hardships and undermining their commercial viability. Without licensed firearms dealers there cannot be effective firearm regulation in Australia.
SIFA previously highlighted the issues our industry has faced in the independent review of the Australian Banking Industry code of practice where our feedback was well received, and our contribution was highlighted in the final report.
As we continue to make representations in Canberra, we look forward meeting with the office of the Treasurer to ensure that any regulatory or legislative amendments that are proposed apply to all industries who experience de-banking.