Did the royal commission report go far enough?

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The royal commission report into banking and financial services has been labelled everything from a success to an unmitigated flop, with many questioning its efficacy and whether it will do much to clean up the sector.

One of the biggest criticisms was the lack of ‘naming and shaming’ of those who committed white collar crimes, with victims in particular saying the recommendations didn’t go far enough and many wanting to see criminal proceedings immediately set in motion.

“We are disappointed that some recommendations did not go far enough, such as improving remedies for breaches of responsible lending law and banning junk products,” said Financial Rights Legal Centre chief executive Karen Cox.

However, the institution that most had its name dragged through the mud, NAB, has offered up the first two ‘sacrifices’.

Yes, the first major scalps of the banking royal commission’s final report have been claimed, after NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn and chair Ken Henry confirmed on Thursday that they will both resign.

“I acknowledge that the bank has sustained damage as a result of its past practices and comments in the royal commission’s final report about them,” said now former NAB chief Andrew Thorburn.

“AS CEO, I understand accountability.”

Speaking to the media after the announcement, former chair Dr Ken Henry said he’s also “had to reflect in recent times overwhelmingly on our inability to meet community and customer expectations”.

The resignations come in the wake of commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s scathing criticism of the bank’s practices, which he said stood apart from other lenders.

“More particularly, I was not persuaded that NAB is willing to accept the necessary responsibility for deciding, for itself, what is the right thing to do, and then having its staff act accordingly,” he wrote in his final report.

“Overall, my fear – that there may be a wide gap between the public face NAB seeks to show and what it does in practice – remains.”

While the aim of the report was to create widespread changes in the financial sector, beef up regulators, compensate victims, overhaul banking remuneration, end the unlawful and excessive fees, encourage reform and better protect vulnerable and disadvantaged customers, so far, the report has disappointed many.

But the NAB resignations may show that it is having an effect and that maybe we just need to wait a bit longer for more dirty laundry to be aired.

Critics say culpable individuals and banks should be criminally prosecuted and, with 24 cases of misconduct already being referred to the regulators, given time, some of Australia’s biggest banks could face criminal prosecution.

Mr Hayne says that senior banking executives are to blame for the misconduct.

“There can be no doubt that the primary responsibility for misconduct in the financial services industry lies with the entities concerned and those who managed and controlled those entities: their boards and senior management,” he said.

But let’s not forget that he’s put the onus to process these cases in the hands of the same regulators that have allowed this misbehaviour – nay crime – to proliferate for who knows how long.

The government has also agreed to act on all 76 of Mr Hayne’s recommendations, but again, this is the same government that denied the need for a royal commission in the first place – run by the same party that says taking a hard line against banks would undermine the economy.

“It will be a question of what suggestions or measures they put on the table but I will be very mindful that I want to see the oil that lubricates our financial system – which is access to credit – continues to flow, otherwise the consequences would be quite significant,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Since then, Mr Morrison has gone AWOL.

So, can we really expect sufficient action to take place? The NAB bosses effectively stood down, but will further grandstanding by the government, ASIC and APRA be enough to create real change in the financial sector? Or are criminal proceedings necessary to make a dent in the dark culture of banks and other institutions?

And will the victims of these crimes see any compensation as a result?

We’ll see.

In the meantime, we’d like to know if you think the banking royal commission report went far enough to make real change.

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And, of course, we welcome your opinions in the comments section below.

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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131 Comments

Total Comments: 131
  1. 0
    0

    So they have resigned – and most probably walk away with a big fat settlement.

    • 0
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      With cushy jobs awaiting them elsewhere.

    • 0
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      H aha they only resigned because they have better things to do.

      Now we will have no other than Mike Baird as CEO and we all know what a mess he made of NSWs power industry.

    • 0
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      It is more like the CEO wanted to retire and the Chairman didn’t want to work with Mike Baird. I don’t blame him.

    • 0
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      Indeed, sunnyOz, I heard they were laughing as they walked out! On top of getting large packages, the jump in the share market ensure that they got big rewards which they can cash out earlier once they leave! Should have instead been sacked with NO package and past bonuses clawed back – if necessary via courts as are proceeds of crime.

      Yes, OG, Mike Baird is a poor choice. Apart from the power industry mess, he is a weak guy who ran from the job when his decisions were getting overturned. Surely they need a CEO with some guts and ability to see the Bank through possibly tough times ahead.

    • 0
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      They should not have been allowed to resign, there should have been a full internal investigation and if found guilty of misconduct they should have faced criminal charges and sacked without any remuneration from the banks.
      Any other employee who acted this way would not be allowed to walk away with a package.

    • 0
      0

      They should not have been allowed to resign, there should have been a full internal investigation and if found guilty of misconduct they should have faced criminal charges and sacked without any remuneration from the banks.
      Any other employee who acted this way would not be allowed to walk away with a package.

  2. 0
    0

    I wish people would stop bashing the banks. Yes the banks are greedy but so are the people to apply for loans without taking into their account their ability to pay. So a lot of people who apply for loans fudge their expenditures and incomes.They also don’t take into account if interest rates rise or if they lose their job. I would rather have healthy banks than banks that may collapse during a financial crisis I don’t think many know that there was a run on two Australian banks during the GFC. Also most people who have superannuation accounts get huge returns from bank dividends. The key recommendation that should have come out of the Royal Commision should have been funding for financial education in the schools.

    • 0
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      Big Al, your knowledge about the finance industry is very small.
      All Lenders have to follow the three C’s, collateral, credit history and capacity (to pay the loan): the lending staff have to prove you meet the three C’s, if you don’t, you get no loan. However, if they still advance the money, it’s their responsibility; trouble is, their poor lending practices result in large losses which other customers pay for …

      A run on any bank is not good news; WHY? because all the money they are alleged to have doesn’t exist, it’s just a large Ponzi scheme … NAB could be shut by 5pm Friday if the people who THINK the bank has their money – and actually doesn’t have the money – went to withdraw it.

      The bank portfolio in Super funds is risky.

      Teaching finance in schools is a waste of time; teaching those in the existing banking industry (and insurance and super) needs to be done NOW.
      [personally, the Australian Ethical Super Fund stole life insurance premiums from my payout at least a year after telling me I could not get life insurance after 65]

    • 0
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      I doubt the issues are simply people over-extending on loans, BigAl. the utter cupidity of the banks in crating property millionaires, and even certain kinds of business empires on little to no collateral and genuine equity, but only on the basis of a ‘business plan’ and in the case of property,a never-ending rise in the price of housing, thus generating equity that did not exist at the time of purchase, is a very serious problem.

      Ever wonder how the Crazy Whoever’s get off the ground starting from zero? And then fold?
      Business plan….

      As for housing – does a prospective home owner get to walk in with a piece of paper and forecasts of future profit, and buy a house? Not on your Nelly Bligh… or was that Anna?

    • 0
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      BigAl, your comments supporting the banks is surprising, giveen the results from the Royal commission. Are you employed by them or on contract. Sure, I understand greed is an issue fro both the borrower and lender. However, staff/contractors are trained to utilise the gullibility of most customers, exploit those with language and education difficulties and sophistication. Most people to some extent fit into this category; wanting only to fund a home for their family, provide for education and to save for retirement.
      The banking and finance industry code of condcut clearly states its obligations andresponsibilities to its clientile. However, this has been largely ignored by the industry as its objectives are to maximise profit for the shareholders and not to fullfill its obligations. For example, as an advocate, i deal with people where English is not the first language and in many cases education is at a minimal level, yet employees and agents go all out to convince customers applying for loas to increase them “just in case they might need more”, knowing in many circumstances the income would not allow them to service the loans. However, property equity was more than sufficient for the bank to recover the loan from the sale of properties. Sale or resumption of properties has excellerated in the past few years and is increasing as these organisations find overseas investors willing to put up the money, and so it goes on. The Globl Finace Disaster was of the banks own making, yet we, the tax payer was expected to bail them out. They should have been left to their own devices, except the government could stand guarantee for the people’s savings. The government sold out to the banks its responsibility and now pays high interest for the use of the people’s money. Don’t just accept the brain washing and excuses by the government and the finance industry but do your own research into the history of what has happened, sometimes stealthily by governments.

    • 0
      0

      BigAl, your comments supporting the banks is surprising, giveen the results from the Royal commission. Are you employed by them or on contract. Sure, I understand greed is an issue fro both the borrower and lender. However, staff/contractors are trained to utilise the gullibility of most customers, exploit those with language and education difficulties and sophistication. Most people to some extent fit into this category; wanting only to fund a home for their family, provide for education and to save for retirement.
      The banking and finance industry code of condcut clearly states its obligations andresponsibilities to its clientile. However, this has been largely ignored by the industry as its objectives are to maximise profit for the shareholders and not to fullfill its obligations. For example, as an advocate, i deal with people where English is not the first language and in many cases education is at a minimal level, yet employees and agents go all out to convince customers applying for loas to increase them “just in case they might need more”, knowing in many circumstances the income would not allow them to service the loans. However, property equity was more than sufficient for the bank to recover the loan from the sale of properties. Sale or resumption of properties has excellerated in the past few years and is increasing as these organisations find overseas investors willing to put up the money, and so it goes on. The Globl Finace Disaster was of the banks own making, yet we, the tax payer was expected to bail them out. They should have been left to their own devices, except the government could stand guarantee for the people’s savings. The government sold out to the banks its responsibility and now pays high interest for the use of the people’s money. Don’t just accept the brain washing and excuses by the government and the finance industry but do your own research into the history of what has happened, sometimes stealthily by governments.

    • 0
      0

      BigAl, your comments supporting the banks is surprising, giveen the results from the Royal commission. Are you employed by them or on contract. Sure, I understand greed is an issue fro both the borrower and lender. However, staff/contractors are trained to utilise the gullibility of most customers, exploit those with language and education difficulties and sophistication. Most people to some extent fit into this category; wanting only to fund a home for their family, provide for education and to save for retirement.
      The banking and finance industry code of condcut clearly states its obligations andresponsibilities to its clientile. However, this has been largely ignored by the industry as its objectives are to maximise profit for the shareholders and not to fullfill its obligations. For example, as an advocate, i deal with people where English is not the first language and in many cases education is at a minimal level, yet employees and agents go all out to convince customers applying for loas to increase them “just in case they might need more”, knowing in many circumstances the income would not allow them to service the loans. However, property equity was more than sufficient for the bank to recover the loan from the sale of properties. Sale or resumption of properties has excellerated in the past few years and is increasing as these organisations find overseas investors willing to put up the money, and so it goes on. The Globl Finace Disaster was of the banks own making, yet we, the tax payer was expected to bail them out. They should have been left to their own devices, except the government could stand guarantee for the people’s savings. The government sold out to the banks its responsibility and now pays high interest for the use of the people’s money. Don’t just accept the brain washing and excuses by the government and the finance industry but do your own research into the history of what has happened, sometimes stealthily by governments.

    • 0
      0

      BigAl, your comments supporting the banks is surprising, giveen the results from the Royal commission. Are you employed by them or on contract. Sure, I understand greed is an issue fro both the borrower and lender. However, staff/contractors are trained to utilise the gullibility of most customers, exploit those with language and education difficulties and sophistication. Most people to some extent fit into this category; wanting only to fund a home for their family, provide for education and to save for retirement.
      The banking and finance industry code of condcut clearly states its obligations andresponsibilities to its clientile. However, this has been largely ignored by the industry as its objectives are to maximise profit for the shareholders and not to fullfill its obligations. For example, as an advocate, i deal with people where English is not the first language and in many cases education is at a minimal level, yet employees and agents go all out to convince customers applying for loas to increase them “just in case they might need more”, knowing in many circumstances the income would not allow them to service the loans. However, property equity was more than sufficient for the bank to recover the loan from the sale of properties. Sale or resumption of properties has excellerated in the past few years and is increasing as these organisations find overseas investors willing to put up the money, and so it goes on. The Globl Finace Disaster was of the banks own making, yet we, the tax payer was expected to bail them out. They should have been left to their own devices, except the government could stand guarantee for the people’s savings. The government sold out to the banks its responsibility and now pays high interest for the use of the people’s money. Don’t just accept the brain washing and excuses by the government and the finance industry but do your own research into the history of what has happened, sometimes stealthily by governments.

    • 0
      0

      BigAl, your comments supporting the banks is surprising, giveen the results from the Royal commission. Are you employed by them or on contract. Sure, I understand greed is an issue fro both the borrower and lender. However, staff/contractors are trained to utilise the gullibility of most customers, exploit those with language and education difficulties and sophistication. Most people to some extent fit into this category; wanting only to fund a home for their family, provide for education and to save for retirement.
      The banking and finance industry code of condcut clearly states its obligations andresponsibilities to its clientile. However, this has been largely ignored by the industry as its objectives are to maximise profit for the shareholders and not to fullfill its obligations. For example, as an advocate, i deal with people where English is not the first language and in many cases education is at a minimal level, yet employees and agents go all out to convince customers applying for loas to increase them “just in case they might need more”, knowing in many circumstances the income would not allow them to service the loans. However, property equity was more than sufficient for the bank to recover the loan from the sale of properties. Sale or resumption of properties has excellerated in the past few years and is increasing as these organisations find overseas investors willing to put up the money, and so it goes on. The Globl Finace Disaster was of the banks own making, yet we, the tax payer was expected to bail them out. They should have been left to their own devices, except the government could stand guarantee for the people’s savings. The government sold out to the banks its responsibility and now pays high interest for the use of the people’s money. Don’t just accept the brain washing and excuses by the government and the finance industry but do your own research into the history of what has happened, sometimes stealthily by governments.

    • 0
      0

      BigAl, your comments supporting the banks is surprising, giveen the results from the Royal commission. Are you employed by them or on contract. Sure, I understand greed is an issue fro both the borrower and lender. However, staff/contractors are trained to utilise the gullibility of most customers, exploit those with language and education difficulties and sophistication. Most people to some extent fit into this category; wanting only to fund a home for their family, provide for education and to save for retirement.
      The banking and finance industry code of condcut clearly states its obligations andresponsibilities to its clientile. However, this has been largely ignored by the industry as its objectives are to maximise profit for the shareholders and not to fullfill its obligations. For example, as an advocate, i deal with people where English is not the first language and in many cases education is at a minimal level, yet employees and agents go all out to convince customers applying for loas to increase them “just in case they might need more”, knowing in many circumstances the income would not allow them to service the loans. However, property equity was more than sufficient for the bank to recover the loan from the sale of properties. Sale or resumption of properties has excellerated in the past few years and is increasing as these organisations find overseas investors willing to put up the money, and so it goes on. The Globl Finace Disaster was of the banks own making, yet we, the tax payer was expected to bail them out. They should have been left to their own devices, except the government could stand guarantee for the people’s savings. The government sold out to the banks its responsibility and now pays high interest for the use of the people’s money. Don’t just accept the brain washing and excuses by the government and the finance industry but do your own research into the history of what has happened, sometimes stealthily by governments.

    • 0
      0

      BigAl, your comments supporting the banks is surprising, giveen the results from the Royal commission. Are you employed by them or on contract. Sure, I understand greed is an issue fro both the borrower and lender. However, staff/contractors are trained to utilise the gullibility of most customers, exploit those with language and education difficulties and sophistication. Most people to some extent fit into this category; wanting only to fund a home for their family, provide for education and to save for retirement.
      The banking and finance industry code of condcut clearly states its obligations andresponsibilities to its clientile. However, this has been largely ignored by the industry as its objectives are to maximise profit for the shareholders and not to fullfill its obligations. For example, as an advocate, i deal with people where English is not the first language and in many cases education is at a minimal level, yet employees and agents go all out to convince customers applying for loas to increase them “just in case they might need more”, knowing in many circumstances the income would not allow them to service the loans. However, property equity was more than sufficient for the bank to recover the loan from the sale of properties. Sale or resumption of properties has excellerated in the past few years and is increasing as these organisations find overseas investors willing to put up the money, and so it goes on. The Globl Finace Disaster was of the banks own making, yet we, the tax payer was expected to bail them out. They should have been left to their own devices, except the government could stand guarantee for the people’s savings. The government sold out to the banks its responsibility and now pays high interest for the use of the people’s money. Don’t just accept the brain washing and excuses by the government and the finance industry but do your own research into the history of what has happened, sometimes stealthily by governments.

    • 0
      0

      BigAl, your comments supporting the banks is surprising, giveen the results from the Royal commission. Are you employed by them or on contract. Sure, I understand greed is an issue fro both the borrower and lender. However, staff/contractors are trained to utilise the gullibility of most customers, exploit those with language and education difficulties and sophistication. Most people to some extent fit into this category; wanting only to fund a home for their family, provide for education and to save for retirement.
      The banking and finance industry code of condcut clearly states its obligations andresponsibilities to its clientile. However, this has been largely ignored by the industry as its objectives are to maximise profit for the shareholders and not to fullfill its obligations. For example, as an advocate, i deal with people where English is not the first language and in many cases education is at a minimal level, yet employees and agents go all out to convince customers applying for loas to increase them “just in case they might need more”, knowing in many circumstances the income would not allow them to service the loans. However, property equity was more than sufficient for the bank to recover the loan from the sale of properties. Sale or resumption of properties has excellerated in the past few years and is increasing as these organisations find overseas investors willing to put up the money, and so it goes on. The Globl Finace Disaster was of the banks own making, yet we, the tax payer was expected to bail them out. They should have been left to their own devices, except the government could stand guarantee for the people’s savings. The government sold out to the banks its responsibility and now pays high interest for the use of the people’s money. Don’t just accept the brain washing and excuses by the government and the finance industry but do your own research into the history of what has happened, sometimes stealthily by governments.

  3. 0
    0

    The best response I read was … ‘if you walk into a bank and steal money, you go to jail, regardless’ … ‘bank personnel stealing from customers should likewise go to jail, regardless’

    • 0
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      If you walk into a bank and tell them they have made a mistake and they fix it then all is good. Banks are human too but one wouldn’t think so by the comments here.

    • 0
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      I ‘d have to ask danielboonejp where is the compensation money??? Is it in the bank accounts of all these greedy CEO’S, THE LIKE OF KEN HENRY?
      SHOULD WE NOT BE RAIDING THE BANK ACCOUNTS OF THE GREEDY CEO’s THE ACCOUNTS OF ANYONE OF THE PEOPLE INVOLVED FOR A MINUTE IN LENDING MONEY AND SELLING FALSE INSURANCE AND ADVICE CHARGES FOR NO ADVICE NEEDED OR GIVEN, EVERY INDIVIDUAL EVERY INDIVIDUAL!!!!
      NOT THE BANK OPERATION ITSELF.
      THE BLOODY THIEVING BASTARDS THEMSELVES, EMPTY ARROGANT HENRY’S BANK ACCOUNT, LET HIM GET A JOB SOMEWHERE OUT OF FINANCE AND PAY BACK WHAT HE, OVER SAW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      That is what should happen any one with an ounce of responsibility for taking money under false pretences had better be paying it back, in what ever manner they partook in this disgraceful situation. all of them every chair sitting individual that knew something was responsible for people who also knew something , all of them must pay up ,including the skulk K. Henry.

    • 0
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      Can we apply the same rule to Centrelink and RobberDebt, OG?

    • 0
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      With all due respect OG this was not about banks making mistakes. This was about banks deceiving their clients, taking money for services not provided, charging dead people fees and lending money to people who could not pay back by fudging loan applications. Hardly being human me thinks…..did you actually read the results of the inquiry ? !!!

  4. 0
    0

    Was and or are ASIC and APRA beginning payed not to follow up complaints, and just who is pocketing the money, should this be the next step in checks and balances in protecting the public

  5. 0
    0

    the big banks were underwritten by the fed govt during the GFC – that was about injecting stability back into the sector. don’t praise the banks for stability when it was a govt policy that stopped the run from getting momentum

    those who have committed offences should have the full weight of the law applied against them, we jail people for far less egregious offices, white collar criminals should be subjected to the same level of judicial effect as everyone else in society

    while we are at it remove parliamentary privilege and “inherited trust” (automatic security clearance) from politicians

    if politicians were subjected to the same security vetting as fed public servants in defence/dfat we would never have had the circus of dual citzenship in the parlt, all of that would have been picked up in initial vetting

    politicians and white collar criminals should be equally subject to the same rules as everyone else in the community

  6. 0
    0

    Good to see the witch hunt is over and they found nothing wrong.

    • 0
      0

      There are none so blind as those who will not see, i.e Understanding cannot be forced on someone who chooses to be ignorant.

    • 0
      0

      There is none so blind who believe the rubbish they see either.

    • 0
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      yes SRF, a few here are so blind they actually believe it was all a witch hunt & no wrong at all was committed by the banks or financial institutions, except for the Industry funds that they bash because they have union representation who don’t demand multi million dollar salaries & bonuses.
      You will never convince these people as they have eyes wired shut

    • 0
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      OG’s excuse could be that he didn’t listen to his mother when she told him “If you don’t stop it, you will go blind”.
      You should have listened OG, too late now.

    • 0
      0

      You haven’t yet explained how it was a witch hunt, OG.. since the predominance of evidence is against you, you will have to try harder with your submission before you can use that phrase. While the academic board understands that this is the way a catch-phrase signifying very little is developed in the Hitlerian mode, its application in mainstream philosophy is unacceptable and outside the rules.

      Mark:- F (big red F).

  7. 0
    0

    Easy solution to clean up the financial sector! Eliminate bonuses and commissions! People are paid a negotiated salary to perform a specific role and their performance measured against agreed KPI’s. If they’re not up to it, show them the door! While bonuses and commissions exist, their focus will always be on their own bank balance rather than the Customer. It’s human nature!!!

    • 0
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      So you pay bludgers the same as high achievers. No thanks.

    • 0
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      Yes, totally agree!

    • 0
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      See Johno you post a valid comment & get a stupid ridiculous answer.

    • 0
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      I doubt any large organisation such as a bank would employ a bludger or retain a bludger once shown to be a bludger. Only nepotistic businesses do that…………………….. oh……………………. wait………..

      It seems then that the real problem is ‘jobs for the mates’ (male or female, no difference, same as male or female politicians in a party – no difference – all no bloody good but good party people) ………

      How else would a vacant brain such as Mike Baird get such a high-flying job?

    • 0
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      .. or a parasite like Bob Carr…. or a Peter Costello…… or a Kevin Rudd ….. or Julia (Redhead Mk I) … or ny number of relative incompetents?

    • 0
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      OG, most of your so called high achievers are incompetent failures. They bought the companies that employed them into disrepute and could have cost them billions in doing so. The only thing that saved them was the government doing all it could to restrict the time that the commission could take to investigate and the scale and scope of the investigation.
      Simple rules should apply, set the KPI’s linked to bonuses and pay, if you don’t meet the KPI’s, no bonus and a salary reduction. If these smug bastards were as good as they say they are this would not represent a problem.
      At the moment it seems we are paying caviar and still getting monkeys.

  8. 0
    0

    It’s not ok to Lie, Cheat, Steal and Swindle and then let the culprits get off without penalty. You only have to be late with a payment and we get charged. Put some of these crims behind bars, claw back some of their bonus’s they obtained by their wrongdoings, punish them, fine the bastards. APRA and ASIC both need a shakeup themselves, they seem complicit.

  9. 0
    0

    Your Poll is invalid and biased.It tries to force you answering the Who should pay Question even though you said no compensation to previous question.Consequently you will get a 100% Agree to compensation result…falsely

  10. 0
    0

    Both sides, Labor and LNP, opposed the Royal Commission originally.

    It was a National Party MP who pushed for the review. Thanks are due to him and to the whistleblower/s.

    ASIC and APRA existed under both sides of government and so too did the monitoring and enforcement problems that were reported. Simply, governments from either side of the political divide do try to shake off responsibility for functions delegated to organisations deliberately created outside of a Minister’s department but answering through the minister to Parliament.

    If there is fault and there is, look no further than the highly paid parliamentarians sitting in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    • 0
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      It was the banks led by the NAB who asked for it.

    • 0
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      Banks, Turnbull, Morrison & Co all fought tooth & nail not to have a RC but when when the pressure from the Nationals from their country constituents got to much they had no choice but to back flip because the people had had enough.
      OG just can’t handle the truth especially with eyes wired shut

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