Australia

Finance boss collapses at banking inquiry after being accused of lying

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The banking royal commission has been abruptly adjourned after the owner of Dover Financial collapsed in the witness box.

The head of a financial advice firm has collapsed in the stand at the banking royal commission after being accused of lying.

Dover Financial Services sole owner Terry McMaster had been giving evidence to the commission for more than two hours when he began to experience problems.

Terry McMaster in the witness box on Thursday.
Terry McMaster in the witness box on Thursday.
The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry

Commissioner Kenneth Hayne QC immediately demanded he receive help and triple-zero be called before clearing the hearing room.

Paramedics assessed Mr McMaster in the Melbourne court room before taking him away on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance.

The dramatic development came after counsel assisting the commission Mark Costello accused Mr McMaster of lying during the hearing on Thursday.

Mr Costello had asked a series of questions about Dover's customer protection policy.

"I put it to you it is Orwellian to describe this as a client protection policy," Mr Costello said.

Mr McMaster said the document was there to protect all parties.

Mr Costello then suggested Mr McMaster was being misleading.

Mr Costello was asking further questions when he noticed Mr McMaster was in difficulty and asked for the hearing to be stopped.

Dover owner Terry McMaster leaves the Federal Court with the aid of paramedics after collapsing at the banking royal commission.
Dover owner Terry McMaster leaves the Federal Court with the aid of paramedics after collapsing at the banking royal commission.
AAP

Morrison defends government over inquiry

Treasurer Scott Morrison insists the government is cracking down on the big banks, despite calls to quarantine them from a tax cut.

Mr Morrison was staunchly defending the coalition's actions against the banks when asked why they should benefit from company tax relief given evidence heard at the royal commission.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is among those wanting any money from tax cuts for the banks quarantined for a compensation fund for victims of their misconduct.

But the treasurer listed a range of measures the government had initiated against the banks, including a levy on the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and Macquarie Bank.

"By the time, which is almost 10 years from now, that the economy-wide tax cuts reach companies at that level, the bank levy will have raised over $16 billion from those five banks," he told ABC radio on Thursday.

"So I don't think people can think we have missed the banks anywhere here."

Mr Morrison outlined tougher penalties for misconduct, including longer jail times and increased individual fines.

There is also legislation to forever bar bank executives from working in the industry again and the regulator ASIC has also been given extra funding of $124 million, he said.

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