Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ruled out a Royal Commission into the banks despite pressure from the National Party and the likelihood that Nationals senator Barry O’Sullivan would eventually attempt to push for an enquiry1. With rebel National Party MPs supporting a Royal Commission in increasing numbers2, pressure was mounting. Despite this, many in the government reiterated their determination not to have an enquiry; indeed, George Brandis stated that such an enquiry would deliver nothing beyond more beach houses for the lawyers appearing before it.
Given that a banking Royal Commission would probably get the nod, if the Nationals in both houses supported it, the banks have called for a Royal Commission themselves, in a letter to the Treasurer, Scott Morrison. Although it is possible that Turnbull may have orchestrated this, his previous incompetence at managing such events, particularly as it takes attention away from the Dastyari beatup, indicates it is unlikely. It is most likely a counterattack by the banks to try to have a significant input into the terms of reference of the enquiry, to blunt any possible embarrassment it may cause for them. So, as George Brandis indicates, if you are looking to sell your place on the coast, now might be a good time to tart it up for some cashed-up lawyers.