Banks cop blast on deadline failure

Commission boss immediately on the front foot as inquiry gets under way.

Big banks cop quick blast

The banking royal commission got under way yesterday and the man at the helm, Justice Kenneth Hayne, wasted no time in getting to the point.

Variously described as a “desert-dry wit” with a brilliant mind who will drive a difficult job according to a tight 12-month deadline, Justice Hayne got off to a flyer.

Addressing the assembled on the opening day of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry in Melbourne, he served notice on the banks that indicated they would be unable to meet today’s deadline to produce a 50-page record of their indiscretions over the past 10 years, even though they had been given two months to prepare it.

“It has been said that the deadline cannot be met because of the amount of material that has to be reviewed and then assembled,” Justice Hayne said.

“What is to be drawn from the fact that requests for more time to give more specific information about events of misconduct identified over the last five years might have to be considered.

“That a request for details of events of misconduct as defined in the terms of reference identified during the last five years cannot be met within the time sought even though the initial request for that information was made approximately two months ago is itself a matter to which further attention may have to be given.”

The royal commission was begrudgingly announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on 30 November last year after he had ignored calls for an inquiry for 18 months. Justice Hayne, a High Court judge until forced to step down in 2015 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70, was appointed as commissioner.

In the lead-up to day one, he had warned financial institutions against taking legal action against witnesses and whistle-blowers.

“First, the commission would be very likely indeed to exercise its compulsory powers to secure the information in question,” he said on Monday.

“Second, the very fact that an institution sought to inhibit or prevent the disclosure of the information would excite the closest attention not only to the lawfulness of that conduct but also what were the institutions’ motives for seeking to prevent the commission from having that information.”

It was reported last Thursday that the Big Four banks had advised employees that despite confidentiality agreements, they were free to make submissions or appear before the commission.

The commission has received 385 public submissions with nearly one-third relating to how banks dealt with personal finance. Another 17 per cent of submissions related to superannuation.

An interim report is expected by 30 September this year and a final report by 1 February, 2019.

Do you have a beef with the banks?



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    13th Feb 2018
    It's interesting that Justice Hayne is not interested in individual cases. My first thought was that individual cases were what brought this Royal Commission into being. Then I thought that an individual should take their case to a court of law and if, as predicted, the Royal Commission uncovers misconduct and the different areas where that misconduct has occurred a case for compensation will be strengthened. A Royal Commission can uncover but not prosecute so individual cases may not be helped but will slow down a process already on a tight schedule.
    Not a Bludger
    13th Feb 2018
    What an absolute waste of time and taxpayers money.

    Despite widespread anti-bank media and much public moaning from Shorten and his leftie mates, a mere 385 individual complaints have been received - this despite 10's of millions of individual bank customers and goodness knows how many billions of transactions per year.

    Shut it down and stop feeding the lawyers, I say.
    13th Feb 2018
    NaB (funny about those initials) is clearly a Lieberal-loving Rightard toadie to Turdball and his rich banker mates.

    Give the greedy banks a thrashing, I say.
    13th Feb 2018
    Will justice Hayne get a high remuneration for this on top of his high pension?
    Polly Esther
    13th Feb 2018
    I've always believed a Royal Commission to be an utter waste of our money and some peoples time, at the same time filling greedy lawyers pockets with our "hard earned".
    At the end of the day all that is proven or not proven is what we all happen to know or suspect anyway.
    I am open to be proved wrong, maybe?
    "Banks cop blast on deadline failure" - Will they be fazed ? don't think so.

    13th Feb 2018
    The financial sector deserve a thorough whipping.
    13th Mar 2018
    Agree - Westpac has a Reward Saver a/c...farcical! When need to w/draw even $1 from it, not only charged a $2.50 fee but interest rate drops to 0.1% for that mth no matter how many $1,000s++are still left in that A/C + even if still add a the minimum requirement of $50+ mthly?? Rip off big time.

    13th Feb 2018
    GO on - lets have the stupid waste of taxpayer money commission
    That's what the leftards are good for - asking for handouts and wasting taxpayer funds

    The banks will be exonerated and they will cry no fair - bunch of useless whingers

    And my bank shares will go up - woo hoo
    Not a Bludger
    13th Feb 2018
    How amazing - this, the media would have it, is a hot button topic and concern to all of Australia.
    A mere 6 respondents all day - compare to the dozens of correspondents, regularly, on other matters.
    Shut down the Commission - nobody cares.
    13th Feb 2018
    The banks want this Royal Commission because they want the Liberals to run it. It's a white wash so the banks won't have to have royal commission by the Labor party where they may have their head handed to them. It's just an expensive con. They need to get it in now before the Libs lose the next election.
    13th Feb 2018
    13th Feb 2018
    Ha ha
    21st Mar 2018
    It is interesting that this has raised something that we have struggled with when we applied to the C'wth bank for a super fund to be set up and then realised after a year or so of doing that with the banks financial manager, that it wasn't working for us the way he had set it up, our financial advisor at the bank then suggested we roll over on to another plan, then recharged us the same setting up cost amount as the first one he set up and then said to us after having done that, that if he had thought sooner, he could have avoided that extra cost to us. This has been playing on our mind ever since and at the time we found it complicated to understand all the financial jargin and didn't know who we could speak to about our complaint of the extra $3,000 fee it cost us at the time. So much to answer for and once again a case of pensioners being taken advantage of.