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Banking Royal Commission - Alan Kirkland response to bank submissions and conflicts of interest

The original bank submissions to the Royal Commission tell a sad story of “it’s everyone else’s fault”.

7 November 2018


Quotes attributable to Alan Kirkland, CEO - CHOICE

 

Bank submissions:

 

“The original bank submissions to the Royal Commission tell a sad story of “it’s everyone else’s fault”. Not one major bank took responsibility for their behaviour and the harm they’ve caused. Their public relations may have gotten better since, but have they really changed their ways? These early submissions paint an ugly picture of the attitude behind closed doors. It’s hard to believe they’ve really changed since.”

 

“Some of the most galling comments in these early submissions from banks blame regulation for their bad behaviour. Westpac seems to think having a complex business and laws to abide by is an excuse for practices that harm their customers. Commonwealth Bank blamed “pockets of poor culture”, effectively taking no leadership responsibility.”

 

“These early submissions show the true tone deaf nature of Australian banks. No responsibility taken and poor self regulation that has let them get away with bad behaviour for years. This is on them - not “pockets of poor culture” but a systemic industry problem. We can no longer let the banks set the pace for change.”

 

“We need stronger banking regulators and a move away from self-regulation, dodgy incentives need to go and when we pay for a financial service, it should be sold as a service in our interests, not theirs. Banking is an essential service that has real impacts on our lives - banks need to take their community responsibility seriously.”

 

Conflicts of interest and disclosure

 

“The Royal Commission report into conflicts of interest and disclosure says what CHOICE have been saying all along. Sales staff and brokers who are rewarded by commissions cannot be trusted to act ethically. Disclosure is a lazy and self interested method of avoiding real regulation. We already know that people who go through mortgage brokers are worse off and the Commission’s report backs up that ‘disclosure can make advice worse’. For safe and fair banking, commissions have to go.”

 

Media contact: Nicky Breen, 0430 172 669