“He’s considering it,” his spokeswoman said.
“He will talk with the other independents next week.”
The push comes as Labor wrote to the secretary of the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on Wednesday requesting an investigation into a half-a-billion-dollar bet on bank shares at 11am Monday, five hours before the report was released. This drove a $22 billion profit when the markets opened on Tuesday.
Labor says the government must rule out a leak which led to insider trading.
Because Parliament is only scheduled to sit for a handful of days between now and the election, there will be no time to start legislating the changes recommended by Commissioner Kenneth Hayne.
Labor leader Bill Shorten has written to the Prime Minister suggesting several changes could be made straight away, including the abolition of grandfathered commissions which Commissioner Hayne said should happen as soon as practicable but which the government has not agreed to do until “from January 1, 2021”.
Mr Shorten has accused the government of going soft on the banks by not recalling Parliament whereas the government is trying to minimise its parliamentary exposure between now and the election, expected in May, because it tends to perform poorly.
It also does not want to talk about banks which is a political weakness due to its initial reluctance to call a royal commission.
Mr Shorten is refusing to let up.
“I think there is actually mounting concern in days since the banking royal commission, from the Australian people, the community that nothing’s actually going to change,” he said.
“We’ve noticed that the banking CEOs all seem to be buckling down to keep their jobs. We saw the share prices of banks go up. What this tells me is that the stock market has factored in perhaps business as usual for our banks.
“What the government needs to do is to sit for more days of Parliament before the next election and start implementing the banking royal commission because I think there is the chance of that Australian people will start to get disillusioned yet again that nothing’s changing.”
The biggest split between Labor and the government is over the recommendation to make customers, not banks, pay the upfront fees to mortgage brokers. The government argues this will reduce the number of people using brokers, decrease competition and strengthen the hand of the big banks.
The Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe sided with the government on Wednesday, saying it was right to be cautious because “there are competition issues”.
Shadow financial services minister Clare O’Neil said Labor would be taking a cautious approach in that it would closely consult the industry as it implemented change to avoid adverse consequences.