by Alison Ryan
AAP Fact Check fails on basic ‘bail-in’ facts says Citizens Party.
18 March 2022
AAP reported that it had fact-checked the claim that “The government can take any deposits in excess of $250,000 from your bank account and instead you can receive shares in the bank.” AAP Fact Check concluded: “False. The claim is based on opinions that have been investigated by a parliamentary committee and found to be unsupported.”
Readers may remember the One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts’ Banking Amendment (Deposits) Bill 2020 Schedules 1 Amendments for the Banking Act 1959 – at http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/bill/bab2020261/
The bill sought to amend the bank “bail-in” law snuck through Parliament on Valentine’s Day 2018 (with just eight Senators present). Malcolm Roberts’ Bill sought to close off a broadly-worded loophole, ie; “any other instruments”, so that its “conversion or write-off”—a.k.a. bail-in—provisions cannot apply to bank deposits. The Amendment was to provide clarification of terms and explicit reference to bail-in in relation to a deposit account, means to convert or write off the deposit account.
Senator Roberts’ Amendment Bill sought to ensure the legislation said what the government claimed that persons’ deposit accounts could not be bailed in.
It seemed a simple fix to gain certainty, but the government rejected the Bill.
Citizens Party says AAP should have contacted them, because it made a mistake in fact-checking the imprecise claims of a social media influencer.
The Dissenting report by One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts is important reading and addresses the failures of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee Inquiry.