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From the first hearings of the royal commission, the senior counsel assisting, Rowena Orr QC, laid bare the toxic culture behind many consumer lending practices. Eddie Jim/AAP

Restructuring alone won’t clean up the banks’ act

Restructuring might help manage conflicts of interest between offering advice and selling products, but it doesn't fix the culture that sacrifices customers' interests to the pursuit of profits.
Federal and state governments have put their hands up to fund airport rail links before we have even seen business cases. David Crosling/AAP

Missing evidence base for big calls on infrastructure costs us all

Billions of taxpayer dollars are committed before all the evidence for, and against, infrastructure projects is in. As well as missing business cases, basic rules of economic modelling are broken.
It is hoped that the Royal Commission will bring a renewed enthusiasm for suitable and properly adapted customer service provision that values Indigenous consumers and take their circumstances into account. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

The Royal Commission revealed financial services woes for many Indigenous customers. Here’s what can be done

With enough will and resourcing, many of the structural issues that make financial services a trial for many Indigenous consumers can be overcome. But we need more regulation to deter sharp practice.
Gradually reducing stamp duty and negative gearing would minimise the impact on investors. Shutterstock

Gradual reform to capital gains, negative gearing and stamp duty will make housing more affordable

Housing affordability has declined significantly over the past few decades. Slowly reducing negative gearing and capital gains, and switching to property taxes, could reverse this trend.
To properly consider climate risks for their business, directors need the financial expertise of accountants. StockLite/Shutterstock

From back office to boardroom: accountants step up in climate risk management

Company directors have been put on notice about their duty to consider and disclose climate change risks. And to do that properly they need to call on the expertise of accountants.