December 7, 2017 / 11:26 PM / a year ago

Australia's Westpac says banks inquiry can restore sector's reputation

SYDNEY, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Australia’s Westpac Banking Corporation believes a wide-ranging inquiry into the scandal-hit finance industry can restore trust in the sector, its chief executive said on Friday.

“Banks have been a political football for too long. That’s why we have now accepted the need for a Royal Commission to create certainty and confidence in our banking system,” Westpac Chief Executive Officer Brian Hartzer said at the company’s annual general meeting in Sydney.

The Australian government last week bowed to opposition pressure and called the inquiry, which has the power to compel witnesses and recommend criminal charges. (Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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