The Senate is preparing to debate on the economy, which will also include the issue of the banks. The banks also include the building societies because they have also been bailed out by the Government. We should realise when we talk about recapitalisation, which will undoubtedly happen very shortly because it will be forced on them, that the banks have been deliberately misleading the people about what they must do.
I was lucky over the weekend to come across a report prepared at enormous cost for the EBS by its public relations personnel. There are two very dangerous trends running through the report. It is quite clear the building society was advised of the need to get itself bought by someone before it had to tell its members, who are its owners, what was happening. It was suggested to get out of the existing position quickly, because the financial results, which must be produced by the end of the year, would be deeply embarrassing.
That represents dishonesty of the most appalling nature. It is in the report in black and white and is not disputable. The second trend running through this brief report, which we must debate, is the absolute desire to protect the reputations of the board and the management. It appears this was all that mattered.
There was no mention of the customers, the taxpayer or the consumer. There is proof in the confidential document that these people were concerned with not revealing what they were doing to the people and the Government.