The Finance Sector Union of Australia (FSU) and its members are bitterly disappointed with the Report of the Banking Royal Commission.
The FSU has been ‘blowing the whistle’ on the appalling excesses of the banks for some years because our members knew that the toxic culture of putting profits before people was immoral and highly exploitative of bank customers.
Commissioner Hayne has failed to make recommendations the sector desperately needs. His report identifies many of the problems, but fails to provide the solutions.
Banking is in urgent need of reform and while the evidence to the inquiry shocked and angered the public, the recommendations released today will not fix the rot that infects Australian banking.
The central focus of the Report is ASIC and APRA. Commissioner Hayne rightly identifies how the regulators have failed to implement their mandate. He then proposes to increase their responsibilities without expressly recommending an increase to their resourcing.
Quotes attributable to FSU National Secretary Julia Angrisano:
“Commissioner Hayne was given the opportunity to provide solutions for the problems inside the banks but failed to do so. Rather that asking for more time, as was clearly needed, he has sent the problems back to the regulators to deal with.”
“We needed bold solutions. We got marginal, incremental change that does not address the underlying issues.”
“The key challenge for our industry is to rebuild community trust. We do not believe Commissioner Hayne’s recommendations will do much to assist this process.”
“This should have been a Royal Commission which would begin a major fix for the financial services industry. Instead, it has failed to deal with many of the problems, and kicked other problems to the regulators to deal with. “
“The Union is particularly disappointed in the failure of the Commission to make recommendations concerning:
- Genuine limits on executive pay and bonuses;
- Changes to remuneration models for variable pay and conflicted pay for staff who are neither front line employees nor executives. These people, who are the majority of bank employees and include managers, back office and others drive the culture and behaviour of financial institutions and bad remuneration models for them are a direct cause of bad behaviour by banks;
- Any focus on criminal liability for senior executives who wilfully breach obligations;
- Concrete measures to improve professionalisation (beyond financial advice) across the industry;
- Changes to governance structures.
“In many cases, Commissioner Hayne has recommended that APRA and ASIC take a more active role in enforcing required standards. However, he makes no express recommendation to provide the regulators the additional resources they will need. The Government’s response does not commit to ensuring that the regulators are properly resourced.”
“The evidence of ASIC and APRA witnesses to the Royal Commission didn’t suggest that they properly understood how badly they had let the community down. Commissioner Hayne’s hope that these Regulators will provide the solutions to the problems seems unrealistic.”
“Unless the Government and Regulators step up, nothing will change. Banks will continue to extract mega profits from their customers.”
“Australia needs a strong financial services sector that is fair to the consumer, fair to the community and fair to the half a million Australians employed in the financial services sector.”
“We know Scott Morrison and the Coalition Government didn’t want any change to the toxic banking culture. Now there is no reason for them to deliver anything more than a ‘slap on the wrist’ to bankers, while meaningful reform is ignored.”
“What we should have been reading in Commissioner Hayne’s Report was a series of recommendations that would result in dodgy bank executive going to jail. That’s what the Australian public wanted to see. By failing to make those recommendations, Commissioner Hayne has missed the opportunity of the century to clean up Australian banking once and for all.”
Media contact John Hill 0412197079