• Hannah Phillips

Will the Royal Commission into the Financial Sector Achieve Anything?


Last Thursday morning Malcolm Turnbull reversed his opposition to the bank royal commission and announced that the government would introduce legislation to provide for an inquiry into the financial sector.


Its terms of reference will cover all the banks, both big and small, as well as other financial institutions.

The royal commission is empowered to investigate any conduct by a financial entity that represents misconduct or falls below community standards; the use of members’ superannuation funds for purposes other than investment; the effectiveness of measures for redress; and the effectiveness of the regulatory environment.

The royal commissioner, former High Court Judge Kenneth Hayne, will start work early in the New Year and will report back by February 2019.

It’s a tough task given the huge number of public grievances that have been publicised since the global financial crisis.

As Tony Boyd pointed out in Tuesday’s ‘Financial Review’, Mr Hayne has eight areas of investigation and eight months to undertake the work, one month per subject of interest.

In order to cut down his work the commissioner could leave out anything that has already been adequately dealt with by the government and any conduct that is currently the subject of legal action by authorities.