Royal Commission – Banks and Financial Services

The Turnbull Government has been forced by its own members and the opposition into establishing a Royal Commission into the alleged misconduct of Australia’s banks and other financial services entities.

 

After more than a year of resisting a Royal Commission into the big banks, the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that all Australians have the right to be treated honestly and fairly in their dealings with banking, superannuation and financial services providers. The highest standards of conduct are critical to the good governance and corporate culture of those providers.

 

He said, ongoing speculation and fear-mongering about a banking inquiry or Royal Commission is disruptive and risks undermining the reputation of Australia’s world-class financial system.

 

The Government has decided to establish a Royal Commission to further ensure our financial system is working efficiently and effectively.

 

Mr Turnbull protested that instead of the inquisition into capitalism that some have called for, the Royal Commission will take a conventional, focussed approach. It will not be a never-ending lawyers’ picnic.

 

The Inquiry will consider the conduct of banks, insurers, financial services providers and superannuation funds (not including self-managed superannuation funds). It will also consider how well equipped regulators are to identify and address misconduct. It will not inquire into other matters such as financial stability or the resilience of our banks.

 

Mr Turnbull continued that this will be a sensible, efficient and focussed inquiry into misconduct and practices falling below community standards and expectations. Most Australians are consumers of banking and financial services, and we all have the right to be treated honestly and fairly by banking and financial services providers.

 

The proposed terms of reference will form the basis of the Letters Patent, terms of which will be recommended to His Excellency, pursuant to the Royal Commissions Act 1902.

 

Draft Terms of Reference: https://www.pm.gov.au/sites/default/files/media/terms-of-reference.pdf

 

30 November 2017.