The final report of the Hayne royal commission was released yesterday afternoon and its recommendations have been embraced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Mr Frydenberg received the final report last week, handed to him by Commissioner Kenneth Hayne who at the time refused to shake the Treasurer’s hand during a photo op.
Before the final report was released the Labor party said that it would adopt all the recommendations of the report while the government said it would consider the findings but did not say it would implement all the recommendations.
The commission into the banking industry was routinely rejected by the coalition government including being voted against 26 times by now Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
In a press conference following its public release on Monday, Mr Frydenberg refused to apologise for the governments delay in setting up the commission.
Mr Frydenberg thanked Commissioner Hayne for his work on the report and said the industry would need to change.
“The price paid by our community has been immense and goes beyond just the financial,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.
“Misconduct must end, and the interests of consumers must now come first. From today the sector must change and change forever.”
Mr Frydenberg said that it would take action on all 76 recommendations in the final report including a review in 2022 to ensure changes have been carried out.
“Commissioner Hayne’s recommendations and the government’s response advance the interests of consumers in four key ways. First, they strengthen and expand the protections for consumers, small business and rural and remote communities. Second, they raise accountability and governance standards. Third, they enhance the effectiveness of regulators. Fourth, they provide for remediation for those harmed by misconduct.”
Labor’s treasurer Chris Bowen criticised the government for holding off on allowing the royal commission and said it was the report they did not want the public to see.
“This is the royal commission that Scott Morrison did not want you to receive. This is the report that Scott Morrison never wanted delivered. Today is the day that Scott Morrison and his entire government should hang their heads in shame that they voted 26 times to avoid this report ever seeing the light of day,” he said.
The opposition said the report was long overdue and said in principle they accepted all the reports findings.
“This is a sobering report. It’s a report that is long overdue. The Labor Party had this report today, the Labor government would accept in principle all the recommendations. The Labor Party accepts in principle all the recommendations in Commissioner’s Haynes report,” said Mr Bowen.
The Australian Banking Associations chief executive Anna Bligh said the banks would accept their failings and work to create a better system.
“Australians expect better from their banks and they deserve better. This report contains some very tough medicine for banks, including potential court cases. The industry has already formed a taskforce to begin the work that will be needed to get this job done.
“This report is a roadmap for the industry to drive the change needed to earn back the trust of the Australian people,” said Ms Bligh.
APRA welcomed the recommendations that the industry keep the ‘twin peaks’ architecture and that BEAR be broadened to include other industries.
APRA chair Wayne Byres said the report was a considered assessment and helpful roadmap to reform.
“The commission has identified a number of areas where APRA’s prudential and supervisory framework can and should be strengthened. Many of these improvements are already in train, and APRA is committed to delivering on them.”
Mr Byres said that APRA was already undertaking an enforcement strategy review and said the authority was committed to the financial well-being of the community.
“Although the commission has assigned some important new responsibilities to APRA, our primary responsibility remains the safety and stability of the financial system, to protect the financial well-being of the Australian community.”
ASIC chair James Shipton welcomed the report and said the commission had already made changes.
“The royal commission report identified ASIC’s enforcement culture as the focus of change needed at ASIC. This focus accords with ASIC’s change agenda, that has included the adoption of our ‘why not litigate?’ enforcement stance, the initiation of our Internal Enforcement Review and the enhancement of our governance structures.”
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