Articles on Financial services royal commission

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Better-educated people are better equipped to ask the right questions and make more informed decisions.

The royal commission should result not only in new regulation, but new education

Let's recognise the limitations of regulation as we try to improve outcomes. Money spent on new regulations may be better put to further educating future customers.
Some financial institutions might become simply ‘too big to manage’ as well as ‘too big to fail’. AAP

Research suggests bigger banks are worse for customers

Researchers found that larger banks are more likely than their smaller peers to experience "operational losses", which includes a failure to meet obligations to clients.
The collapse of a royal commission witness provided a reminder of the stark differences between financial services and health services when it comes to caring for customers. Stefan Postles/AAP

What if we expected financial services to be more like health services?

The financial services industry is in need of a new paradigm to rediscover what finance is for – to improve the financial and economic well-being of society.
ASIC boss James Shipton has signalled a shift to more vigorous enforcement and Treasurer Scott Morrison has bolstered the regulator’s funding to enable this. Luis Ascui/AAP

Embedding regulators in banks can help change cultures of wrongdoing, despite the risks

Putting regulators inside corporations isn't new, and the US experience highlights risks of regulatory capture, but the move could make a difference if ASIC is shifting to more robust enforcement.
New AMP chair David Murray’s prescription for corporate governance doesn’t acknowledge the structural drivers of systemic misconduct. Joel Carrett/AAP

Treasury admits corporate governance is broken but baulks at systemic fixes

Evidence to the Banking Royal Commission points to the systemic failings of corporate governance built on the idea of shareholder primacy. It's time to rethink the unitary board system for a start.
The royal commission has left AMP with a lot of explaining to do, much of it related to how performance targets drove poor behaviour. Daniel Pockett/AAP

Five steps business can take to ensure aggressive performance targets don’t drive bad behaviour

Pressure to meet ever-higher performance targets can lead to misconduct of the sort exposed by the royal commission. Targets need to operate within a framework of ethical governance to avoid this.
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.
The Financial Services Royal Commission has exposed some irresponsible lending by Australia’s biggest banks. Glenn Hunt/AAP

We asked five experts: will the banking royal commission push down property prices?

The financial institutions fronting the Financial Services Royal Commission are also the ones controlling mortgages, so will an expose of their dealings push property prices down?

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