Royal commission findings have already been decided by PM

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Long-suffering Australians who have had their savings and investments battered by the unscrupulous practices of banks will be kidding themselves if they believe justice will prevail following this Federal Government’s royal commission into the financial services sector.

Royal commissions are meant to help right the wrongs perpetrated on victims. But in announcing this probe, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said there was nothing actually wrong with the financial services sector. Pardon?

Apart from pre-empting any findings of the yet-to-be-named head of the commission –, in itself a bad look ­ Mr Turnbull’s rationale for calling the probe is questionable and more than likely, politically driven.

The Prime Minister said: “This will not be an open-ended commission, it will not put capitalism on trial, as some people in the Parliament prefer, and we’ll give it a reporting date of 12 months.”

Thanks for clarifying that, Sir. For a wee moment we had hoped that this would be a trial of all the documented excesses of a capitalist system that has stomped on the little person to suck out profit in the 10s of billions of dollars, year in, year out. Further, some of this was done using unethical practices that our courts, watchdogs and other authorities have called out, so why not put capitalism in the dock?

Treasurer Scott Morrison explained away why we needed this type of commission. “Politics is doing damage to our banking and financial system, and we are taking control as a government to protect the strength of our banking system through a properly constituted inquiry on these terms of reference, rather than the alternatives present in other commission of inquiry proposals, subject to the vagaries of politics that would do harm and already has to date.”
Really? More than $30 billion in net profit was collected by the four major banks last financial year – net profit being the sum they made after paying taxes, wages and obscene bonuses to bank executives. If earning $30 billion-plus for shareholders is considered damage, well it beggars belief what they would be making in a “friendly and safe” year.

Mr Turnbull assured a press conference that the “terms of reference will ensure a responsible but comprehensive investigation into how financial institutions have dealt with cases of misconduct in the past, and whether those examples expose issues in terms of the cultural and governance issues, in terms of the regulation and supervision of the industry”.

Sorry to differ, but this probe is not likely in the least to be comprehensive. It will be a rushed job. The commission will be given just 12 months to look into the affairs of all banks, big and small, other financial institutions, insurance companies, wealth managers and superannuation funds. That is an investigation of thousands of companies. Is it really feasible for a commission funded to the tune of just $75 million to be able to thoroughly scrutinise the practices of, at a minimum, say 10 institutions every single day for a year? And further, even if this gargantuan task was achieved, the outcome would be sketchy and threadbare at best.

Now back to the scope of the proposed inquiry. The four banks who unusually wrote to the Federal Government requesting a royal commission asked that the net be thrown over all of its financial services cousins, too  – insurers, super, wealth managers and so on. This smacks of an attempt to throw a bunch of red herrings into the mix to cloud what should be at the core of this investigation – badly behaving banks. The other sectors may have their indiscretions, too, but let’s leave them for another day. The major banks’ attempt to obfuscate the issue this way is nasty and self-serving and by agreeing to it, the Government is unashamedly siding with the Big Four merchants instead of every day consumers and small investors.

In fact, Mr Turnbull could not have made it plainer: “We have much to be proud of about our banking system and the experience of the global financial crisis should remind us of that. We have much to be proud of, but also much to take care of.”

He went on: “… all Australians, consumers, small businesses, farmers, shareholders, must have confidence and trust in the financial system. Now this royal commission’s establishment will end the uncertainty and speculation.”

The Prime Minister seems so sure of how this will end, it is pretty obvious the whole thing is being staged. Pity.

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Written by Olga Galacho

32 Comments

Total Comments: 32
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    When I retired 10 years ago, I went looking for a Financial Advisor. Tried 1 big bank, totally unimpressed. Tried another bank a few years prior to get investment advice once my mortgage was paid off. The financial advisor was out of the door in 5 minutes when he found out I did not have thousands to invest on the spot. Also tried a few insurance companies (affiliated with the banks), and other Advisors. Paid con commissions, whether or not their advice was beneficial. Eventually found a fee for service advisor.

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      I requested a prospectus to invest several hundreds of thousands years ago with MLC. The fees and charges based on percentages was quite astounding. Advisors at the time were being paid big money to put clients money into these sorts of expensive products.

      Most lost at least half or more in 2008/9.

      I must say that the stupidity of people is astounding.

      Why anyone bothers these days when very cheaply priced share platforms and index fund managers can be accessed readily just shows how gullible and lazy or lacking in confidence most Australians are.

      You had a lucky escape.

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      I’ve been along to the banks just to see what they have to offer. From what I saw it’s not gouging ..it’s theft.

    • 0
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      This “Royal Commission’ will be no more than a show if this government is able to control the terms of reference. The important sections will be off limits to probe and this will be a waste of money if not done properly.
      I suspect Shorten should have waited until he was PM before pushing this as it will be ex banker Turnbull’s intention to get this done in a year so that there can be no further discussion when Labor wins the next election.
      Capitalism is not up for discussion? I bloody well thing that how money is controlled and how ordinary people seem to be routinely done over should be up for discussion and then REGULATION. Anything less is a show. Wave the finger all you like Malcolm. Nobody is listening. This needs to be done properly or not at all.

    • 0
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      MICK, who are you going to stand for parliament?
      Please let me and lots of others on here have a answer..

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      Undecided roy but ANYBODY other than the coalition…..which is totally transparent. Crooks in suits!
      If your question is indeed a question and not a trap I will give you my honest answer and best shot straight from the mouth of an old mate who ruined many a political career in his search for justice: IT MATTERS NOT IF YOU VOTE FOR BILLY THE BLACKSMITH BECAUSE POLITICIANS ARE GIVEN THE BEST ADVICE FROM HIGHLY PAID PUBLIC SERVANTS……even the imbeciles can then make a call.
      Of course you have to be honest and not in the pocket of vested interests like the coal industry. This is where the current batch can never measure up.

    • 0
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      yaaaaaawwwwwwnn.

  2. 0
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    Of course justice won’t prevail: Turdball is, after all, a banker. Can’t let his thieving mates down, can he…

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    This could have been a very successful Royal Commission, successful for the dissatisfied customers that is, as it is it will merely be another major cover up for the banks malpractices.
    It is a pity Australians can no longer trust those who should be looking after the interests of the people of Australia rather than the interests of those who are ripping off the people.

    • 0
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      If the Labor and the media refuse to accept restricted terms of reference then Turnbull will have nowhere to hide. One can see where this is going to go: a show for the cameras. That is unacceptable!

  4. 0
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    It will be interesting to see the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission. You can bet it will exclude submissions from all the honest hard working Australians who have been screwed and are continuing to be screwed by the Australian government sponsored criminal organisations known as the big banks.
    Will the Commission address the consistent failures of the banking boys clubs ASIC and APRA to properly carryout their duties and criminally prosecute the criminal bank executives? I doubt it.
    It is on record that NOT one Australian bank executive was prosecuted for their criminal conduct in the GFC and the numerous scandals which have followed. As I said above the big banks and their “leaders” are nothing more than government sponsored criminal organisations who prey on ordinary Australians.

    • 0
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      Great post and so on the money.

      You may also be aware of ‘bail in’ laws which the government has allowed APRA to introduce. Done without scrutiny and the public is completely aware of what is going to happen to their savings when the next GFC hits and banks are again caught short.
      THIS NEEDS TO BE A PART OF ANY RC but will not unsurprisingly be left out!

  5. 0
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    Our pm and a lot of millionaires have too much to lose to have an honest investigation into the banks….
    ot to mention all the big corporations who don’t pay tax are hiding money…..

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      I’d like the debit/credit card surcharges examined. I wonder how many corporations charge these fees to cover banking costs and also deduct those costs from taxable income. I’ll bet it happens a lot.

      It’s an added tax on consumption.

  6. 0
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    Totally agree with what Olga said.

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    The banks know Turnbull will lose the next election. They want a Liberal run Royal commission ( con) rather than a Labor run commission which will find them paying compensation. That’s why they have told Turnbull to arrange one. When labor gets in its unlikely they will get another Royal commission. Problem solved they get away with it again.

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      Turnbull has been pushed into this but I agree completely with your post. This will be a show for the cameras. I do suggest that the poo will hit the fan when the terms of reference come out. One can already see what is going to happen given that Turnbull has put 12 months on the inquiry…which means it will finish before the next election.

  8. 0
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    Good thinking Tib.

  9. 0
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    Labor fools have been demanding a Royal Commision for ages . Now you got one so STFU
    I’m with Turnbull – there’s nothing wrong with the banks
    So my dear whingers you got your RC and it will be a good day for banks and it’s investors when the report comes out
    Can’t wait

    • 0
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      It must be eating you up inside that the opportunity exists to bring banking corruption out into the open Raphael.
      I know…..’nothing will come of it’, ‘it’ll take too long’ and ‘the cost is too high’. What else does one expect from government stooges and cronies.
      Moan on Raphael. Your post is a disgrace to decency and an affront to tax paying Australians. Clearly you are one of the tax dodging rich. Scum!

    • 0
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      No Mick – I am really happy that we are having a Royal Commission that will prove that nice and for all that we have a world class banking system . Our banks are among the safest in the world provide excellent services at a low cost to customers
      I am sick and tired of the left bashing our banks and resource sector for nothing but political gain using the politics of envy

      Even now as the RC has been announced you lot are hedging your bets by questioning the governments and banks motivations and their intention to be transparent
      Can’t win with you lot because you have your political agenda

      I applaud Turnbull in having the courage to have the RC in spite of the vitriol and lies spewed by labor even if it comes at a political cost to him personally and the LNP

    • 0
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      There is something seriously wrong with your mental state MICK, your hatred is eating you up, enjoy life MICK before it’s too late.

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      Not just Labor wanting a Royal Commission and basically the Libs partner in bed has pushed the button just as much as have the Greens and others.
      I can’t believe how quickly Turnbull responded to the letter from the banks asking for this enquiry. The dithering man was on the ABC/NEWS24 just after 8.00/8.30 a.m. following receiving that letter. What a long speech he made, hard to believe it wasn’t drafted, redrafted and fed to the public with consultation from the banks. Even in that letter to the government, the banks stipulate that all the proceedings so far in bringing this enquiry into fruition should be dropped. What a farce.

    • 0
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      Not just Labor wanting a Royal Commission and basically the Libs partner in bed has pushed the button just as much as have the Greens and others.
      I can’t believe how quickly Turnbull responded to the letter from the banks asking for this enquiry. The dithering man was on the ABC/NEWS24 just after 8.00/8.30 a.m. following receiving that letter. What a long speech he made, hard to believe it wasn’t drafted, redrafted and fed to the public with consultation from the banks. Even in that letter to the government, the banks stipulate that all the proceedings so far in bringing this enquiry into fruition should be dropped. What a farce.

  10. 0
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    My view is that the banks, realising that the few crumbs they threw, with great fanfare, at us by reducing or eliminating some fees did not solve their image problem. So instead of waiting for the ALP to be elected and holding a RC with real teeth, the banks have got their own men in government to agree to a Royal Commission which the banks can control . In fact it could be a windfall for the banks if they can focus the Term of Reference onto super funds (particularly industry funds, which are outside of their control) instead of themselves,.
    Has the final report been written yet, probably not, but the tenor of the report, where the banks come out squeaky clean has probably already been established.
    In other words do not expect too much, there is too much money at stake for the banks to go down without a fight. A lot depends on the integrity of the Royal Commissioner.

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