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What you think the Royal Commission missed

The results of the reader survey on the Royal Commission are summarised in another article this week. The response was excellent with about 850 people completing the full survey.

The seven questions drew hundreds of reader comments, too numerous to include them all, but here is a long selection from the open-ended final question. Some have been edited. These reader comments are shared in the interests of informing our community and no responsibility is accepted for their accuracy or fairness.

What did the Royal Commission miss or any other comments?

The way banks treat existing loyal customers worse than new ones by sliding existing customers into lower deposit rates and worse terms of service, while offering better ones to new customers.
Replace the AFSL/Dealer Group model mess with individual advisor licensing/registration under single peak body.
Make Boards more accountable sack them and ban them for life if unethical practises are exposed
Failed to address remuneration and the ethical implications surrounding the awarding of bonuses to executives.
Prosecutions of INDIVIDUALS.
They should have advised what percentage of customers were affected, as now the public may take a pessimistic view as to the quantity and cause more political fighting and interference.
The separation of product & advice
Hayne clearly went after culture and exposed what was wrong
The recommendations were far to soft. Individuals who broke the law should go to jail - its the only way to stop such behaviour. It also did not address the many issues relating to industry super funds - this whole area was white-washed.
They ignored linkages between financial organisations and State and Commonwealth Governments.
The core problem is our tax and superannuation regulation is unnecessarily complex. Simplification, especially of super fund regulation, would reduce the need to take (increasingly expensive) advice from people who can't be trusted to act in your best interest.
Addressing the education standards for advisers.
For a regulated industry enjoying the benefits of a government guarantee executive remuneration levels, especially bonuses, are way too high
Addressing Vertical Integration, making the ACL come under the AFSL system - why have two licenses?, Haynes should have tied in the Productivity commission findings to assist with his answers or at least asked more questions. Make Directors of Industry Super funds have real experience in Investment Management and not be allowed to employ/ select Union executives.
The role an individual must take in being responsible for their own financial literacy; whether it be by educating themselves, or by it being mandatory in schools, or by having some sort of advocacy that can be called upon to present the facts.  By choosing to go in blindly suggests that it is a case of cross your fingers and hope for the best and then assume no responsibility.
The Royal commission found serious fraudulent activity and many poor practices. It resulted in changes to CEO,Chairman and board members in CBA, NAB, AMP and other financial institutions as well as serious implications for wealth managers, financial planners, and mortgage brokers and it found the financial regulators wanting, in my view mostly for the right reasons. And now it is up to the regulators to enforce the regulations.

The Royal commission has done a good job.

It was a whole lot of bark with very little bite at the end of the day. Very, very disappointing!
The RC will lead to a more complicated financial system. For example, creating specialist superannuation trustees will be administratively complex without providing real benefits or cost reductions.
The link between share bonus and directors and CEO remuneration is always going to be conflicted
Clarification that ongoing (percentage) advice fees should or shouldn't be allowed versus commission payments which have been recommended to be banned.
For our business, just more paperwork that wastes time and adds to overall costs. Does this mean FDSs are a thing of the past if there is yearly opt-in? I bloody hope so.

He well and truly got life insurance wrong. Stopping commissions will just mean that we stop providing advice on insurance unless it is part of a broader plan where the cost will be added in.

Someone will need to ensure that the cost of insurance drops by 30% if they are not paying commissions.

Overall the public will be much worse off.

Soft dollar payments
Over step from Hayne and only plays into the power base from the big 4 banks
The Royal commission has failed in its responsibility to recommend any material changes to banks that would affect their profitability. Rather, they have allowed themselves to be led by the major banks to turn into a Royal Commission against independent mortgage brokers and financial planners to increase the banks potential profits. This is a major failure of purpose and not what the RC was designed or required to make recommendations on.
Generic banking products such as mortgages and interest rates. Why does a new customer obtain the best return yet a customer of 20 years defaults to a lower return?
It would have been good to see a look at property spruikers selling SMSFs and why real estate is not a financial product
The Royal commission only scratched the surface
Dwelling on evidence from offended little people was cheap and immature.
The fact that if implemented as recommended he will destroy thousands of innocent small business (resulting in many bankruptcies; where they are bankruptcies there are also suicide) and therefore strengthen the large banks and insurers.
These are crimes and people haven't been punished for it. The banks are great at fooling the public and now they done it to the authorities too. They should be accountable. Brokers got hit harder than banks, and now the banks have the power again. Banks will take further advantage of it now, as they will have somewhat of a monopoly from here onwards.
I thought Ian Narev got off as he had a lead role in the raft of offences committed by the CBA. His timely exit meant that not nearly enough attention was paid to them. In particular his public response to the crimes committed under the guise of financial advice. He should have been called back.
I think Ken Henry was the only one to stand up and no bow to a dictator - good on him and sorry the outcome.  Hopefully he will rise like a phoenix!
Conveniently dropped the notion of 'liar loans' when it became apparent the liars are the borrowers (i.e the Australian public who, apparently, can do no wrong) and not the banks.

Failed to identify the true crime against elderly and vulnerable loan guarantors was perpetrated by their children (i.e. the borrowers who defaulted) and not by the banks.

Vertical integration is the big one. Also going to increase costs for most financial services
Kenneth Hayne's team did extremely well, but he failed.
Too many issues for one Royal Commissioner to resolve satisfactorily. Too short time limit to produce a comprehensive report.
I am a bit stuck on changing my super/pension/advisor as a holder of a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. If I open or move to a new super/pension account it will count towards my assessable income, currently grandfathered
Above, expect no change other than higher costs.
The horrific behaviour of Storm Financial and related activities.
Vertical Managed account models by advice firms. Move to individual licensing of advisers.
Greater critique of retail superannuation funds
They followed their brief. Name, Shame and Entertain. It was a brilliant move to have all the players provide a summary confession first, and then to disallow them to explain their conduct in context. In future, fewer people will have access to advice and funding. And everyone will pay more for no net benefit.
Compensation for those who have had their commissions banned. Especially those that bought businesses within 2 years of the report
As a mortgage broker, I will be recommending loans that are in my clients best interests and don't believe that a Big 4 bank can now provide this. I certainly won’t be using any insurance/investment fund aligned to a Big 4 Bank or AMP. I will be using software/investments/insurance/loan products that are independent of any of the large institutions....  I have also recently moved my business/personal/SMSF/trading/CMA accounts from CBA.  Comyn's comments regarding mortgage brokers was the last straw for me...
Stock Brokers and their business model practices should have been included
Overall the Commission opened a can of worms (and grubs) that needed opening.
Non-regulated lenders
That it should have been wider and more thorough is purely the fault of the government-stipulated framework.
You would have to feel it didn't miss much.

He could have reflected that there are plenty of good people in the industry doing the right thing by all parties. But that message seems to have been drowned out. I know - it was the BRC into misconduct etc etc ...

Public policy failure post GFC to reintroduce competition to the 5 banks... had we done so excesses would not have occurred and if still not addressed, excesses will occur again.
At least he understood the reason for SMSFs. We operate our own and pay for specific advice. So we are not affected by poor practices.
They missed the big one vertical intergration and breaking up banks so they only do deposits and lending. They also missed the sleeper which is lifetime pensions. The next looming issue both private and govt.
Industry Funds got off like royalty.

I fear that banning adviser service fees - or if no ban super fund trustees deciding they don’t want to carry that risk - has poor implications for the outcomes for average Australians. In our business we have mainly HNW - so they will have other pockets to pay us from. However for those clients whose cash flow is tight (mainly accumulators, mortgage & school fees) - they won’t be able to afford to get advice. We know we can put people in a better financial position over a period of time with ongoing cash flow management and keeping them on track with their financial behaviours. Too date - what planners would manage for these clients is super and insurances. With comm from insurance dropping and possibly being eliminated - these people won’t be able to get advice. Worse outcomes both in their pre retirement years (the underinsurance issue will worsen and corporate  and industry funds TPD cover is getting worse) and in retirement. There’s a social issue here - more people becoming dependent on Centrelink later. That’s not a good economic outcome for the country.

The RC shows the power of properly prepared lawyers - compared with the relatively weak / grandstanding / political posturing that can take place with a Parliamentary enquiry. Hayne and his counsel assisting were prepared, fearless, and relentless as we all well know. The power of that is now something well known to such as Ken Henry: such a powerful man used to doing things his way - but for all of his intelligence and ability, for once being exposed by fearless examination for which he had been naive enough not to prepare himself. Even the smartest people have the same defects of personality as the rest of us, and are capable of great stupidity.
Not sure of its original brief.
Insurers need to give support to their claims handlers. These people do not receive bonuses for meeting the terms of an insurance contract, but are abused for paying claims. This is the insurance culture that needs to be addresses.
It was a year 7 finance project, with no clue as to how most people access property finance and the challenges they face
This was meant to examine misconduct within the banking system, yet mortgage brokers are the scape goats. There is very little misconduct within the broking industry and at the end of the day, the customer makes the choice.  By law, commissions are already fully disclosed by brokers and they don't run around taking money from dead people!
The financial reporting of unions
The scope of the commission should have been wider than what it was eg honeymoon rates should apply to both existing and new customers
Should have happened sooner. Politics and vested interests nearly stopped this one. Review the whole financial services and taxation policy from the ground up.
What about fees charged by superannuation funds for no service/negative returns?
There are items which Graham Hand listed here on Cuffelinks which needed addressing.
It failed to pursue what are criminal action by banks and insurance companies letting the main culprits get off lightly (ASIC won’t do anything - look at the failures at Babcock and Brown and Allco - no action in 10 years! Pathetic).
Much of the problem is the excessive bonuses paid within financial organisations from the executive down to the front-end sale staff which has led to a perverse sales culture.
Find it amazing that stock brokers escaped the spotlight where commissions are still rife.
the time spent allowing truths to be revealed was inadequate. far too many lives ruined and far too many EXECS with golden handshakes into the next comfy chair.
Business lending. New players who will cause grief later.
not enough work on super & insurance. Fees on money invested has not decreased despite the increase in funds managed
Let's see what the outcomes are in 12 months
After all the Hype prior to delivery of report, receipt of report was a HUGE ANTI CLIMAX. Royal commission terms of reference were nobbled, Could not look at MP's  pensions. An almost complete waste of money.  The current and past directors of all business's that charged for no service should be made top repay salaries and Charged - with a view to Jail. They were all complicit in theft /Fraud. No exceptions! Theft is Theft!
Focused on some cases where “victims” had only themselves to blame, eg, guarantors for loans by family members for a small business which defaulted.
Probably need a summary that is easily understood by the people.. it is easy to but personal slants on the findings without fully understanding the facts.
They didn't properly investigate all of the dud products that banks have been peddling to customers
Very disappointed in the behaviour of many commentators after the report was published. Many of them completely missed the point of the Commission's sometimes brilliant exposure of malfeasance, and that corrective action was never Haynes' to implement.
Not hard enough on ASIC and APRA at all – Boards should undergo certification in governance. Auditors (ie Big 4) need to place more emphasis on identifying cultural issues that are detrimental to effective governance of these organisations.
Financial industry is crucial for Australia. It requires better competition to better meet Australia’s needs. Competition requires competitive industry structures. The lawyers of the Commission and lawyer politicians who set the terms of reference completely missed this.

The ‘remedies’ of Hayne are most easily absorbed by the giant banks and hence they are worse for longer term outcomes than the ills they were meant to address. Lack of lending and/or bad loan concentrations are inevitable as Australia heads to an inevitable economic downturn. The idiotic Government fund for SME lending illustrates the market failure of the Australian financial system structure. More competition, engaged APRA rules and review would be better

Where to start...
Banks to report every 6 months against the RC findings and recommendations for the next 2 years and then 2 yearly after that to ensure that they are holistically serving their customers as well as making a reasonable profit. Thanks for the opportunity to comment. Please keep up the impartial opinions.
The Royal Commission 'Theatre' was effective but could have undeserving side-effects. There should have been advance strong explanation why it was not the forum for victims. Main bank relationship question - No choice, which is only one very good reason for the Royal Commission's need.
more like the Salem witch trials than a balanced view of how to ensure more clients receive appropriate services. Outcome for retail clients is likely to be worse services, more expensively delivered.
Banks Product Pricing, Affordability of Financial Advice, Definition of Assets (growth vs defensive), Calibration of performance reporting across the industry, risk vs returns, Calculation of Fees (Admin / Performance etc), Active funds management benchmarked to indexes, Mortgage Broker accreditation being revoked by individual banks, when not writing their current market share in new loans - contrary to best interest duty to client
Breaches of sole purpose test by some industry super funds.
Seems like there is nowhere to go.  Labor wants to hit SMSFs on franking credits but many of us with smaller SMSF (cir $1,000,000) have been burned by financial advisers.  Financial literacy is the key and Cuffelinks provides a great service in this area.
Ian Narev did not get a mention, it was under his management that CBA lost its ethical position.
A follow-up in 12 months where the CEO and Chair of the major players must present to the commission what they have done. As the Chinese saying goes "talking doesn't cook rice ". Also apart from executive bonuses it should have addressed Directors fees which are obscene for what time and effort (or lack of) is put in.
vertical integration
Has missed a lot, but it did highlight and educate many.
Lots - too much to mention - a general witch hunt.
I could not believe the lack of ethics that bank managers have, its sad indictment on our society. Pure greed
After all the shocking findings it was a fizzer by slapping executives with a wet lettuce leaf!
I felt it targeted a few examples of bad behaviour at corporate level and individual level and didn't really have an understanding of the industry at a consumer level.  There is far more good out there than evil, but the public perception is tarred.
A lot of the stories (everyday problems/rip-offs) should be able to be sorted out by regulators and/or ombudsman. We should not need a Royal Commission
It was too Hayne centred as highlighted in the Henry “call out”. If you did not submit to Hayne you were in the wrong. That was not the point of the commission but that is how the commissioner took it. It reflects all through the report and his vitriol comes out on particular issues.

How was an ex High Court judge ever going to understand all the parts on the banking, super, life and general insurance, and financial planning sectors and their interrelationships

Impossible but at least he has dealt with the big issues and maybe rid the financial adviser industry of the banks longer term and that is a good thing for all but most importantly the clients/consumer/ customers

Some entities (especially some people) should never have attempted to get the finance they were after in the first place. These entities are as responsible for the financial mess they ended up in as were the financial institutions that financed them. So the RC missed identifying a risk assessment matrix for people to use before / when they come up with "money making ideas".
I have friends who are mortgage brokers and I think that they are overpaid for the amount of work they do and the expertise that they possess. It just adds costs to an industry that ultimately gets passed onto the consumer (homeowner). I think that a broking industry is important but payments should be reasonable and structured in a way that removes conflicts of interest and encourages the right sort of behaviour.
investigation into industry funds. I accept they are usually public offer BUT query use of member funds for e. g. sport sponsorship and where trustee fees go
The test should be - if all recommendations were implemented 10 years ago, would the misconduct that were revealed have occurred in the last 10 years?  I don't think so.
Given that most are doing the best for their clients and the fact that we work within our APL, I don't think it will affect whom I select. I will still work with CBA, Clearview and others. However I wish Industry funds are open to support us as advisers.
The general population needs to be better educated in financial matters so they can distinguish between good and poor advice and take responsibility for financial decisions.
What the politicians and the bureaucrats and the general public missed is the entirely expected fallout from the RC being - credit crunch, extra bureaucracy, slowing economic activity and diminished savings. However these mid-term drawbacks are worthwhile if we get fairer and better financial institutions in future.

One thing missed by the RC was to hold people responsible for their actions.  Why should the banks recompense people who were basically stupid or greedy enough to sign documents without ensuring that the disclosures were correct?

I think the royal commission was a witch hunt based on political sentiment. Yes, it uncovered some bad practices and how some customers were taken advantage of. Maybe the larger institutions banks, insurance companies, wealth managers have limited the market by buying up many smaller players and manipulated product offerings to profit themselves and their executive salary packages but this happens in other industries. Much is being rectified by these companies and I believe in continual improvement and that should also apply to their social conscience toward their customers and shareholder as well as the viability of the business and the industry. Due to this public display many shareholders have lost much more of their capital invested in these companies than those who have been wronged by the system. As Shareholders we too had confidence in the management of these companies. Our only revenge would be to take class action against the company which is like taking money out of your right pocket and putting half in your left and giving the other half to the legal fraternity what good is that!!!
Great job in such a short time. Excellent recommendations. Awaiting positive follow ups starting by mid year.
Might have at least had some eye that the system actually delivers good banking outcomes to a majority. Also needs to reinforce to people that if you sign forms in blank, don’t read them or without some legal advice it’s hard for the rest of us to feel sorry for you. And that tool who sold the insurance to the disabled kid should burn in Hell. And his line manager and the ceo.
Yes, the RC missed out on so much because they spent too much time interviewing the heads of the Big for Banks and AMP. Why was there no time spent on fee calculations, definitions of investment options i.e. Balanced vs. Growth, fee calculations, Industry Super funds and the valuations of unlisted assets to name just a few (thanks Graham Hand!)
The industry super funds and Labor being in bed with each other.

Industry funds in general like to consider themselves "holier-than-thou". Just because they're "not for profit" doesn't mean they do a good job of looking after members. How can industry funds honestly justify the sponsorship that they run?

(Note, comments not directed at the financial planners and other staff who work in industry funds - these people seem to genuinely believe in what they do - it is the higher level that do not behave ethically).

The difficulty of people to get their insurance paid when they have a total and permanent disability. They are scared that if they try to do the claim themselves they will be rejected, so they use legal firms who act on a no win no fee basis and take a third of the payout. It shouldn’t be that hard to access the insurance  benefit that you have paid premiums for if the risk that was insured has been experienced by the policy holder.
The AMP's business model of over charging and under delivering finally officially exposed.
I think some sort of standardization on how life insurance policies are explained and set up, as well as TPD insurance- would go a long way. Many are very complex and people don't understand differences between premium types, what qualifies as a claim etc. Further, some sort of regulatory oversight on the speed with which insurance claims are actually processed is direly needed. Too many insurance companies delay payouts for as long as possible which really affects families quality of life, especially when youre dealing with the loss of a house or loss of life.
More referrals for prosecution
It could have also made a comment on the ethical/moral obligations of FS providers - not mandating but simply implying that obligation.
Industry super funds allowing members money to be used by unions (owners of the industry funds trustees)
It’s a pity the terms of reference were not broader, and more time given. The Government did the least they thought they could get away with.
ASIC clearly not working. Need to simplify the industry
Many issues that your experts have referred to which I agree with. Obviously this would require another Royal Commission or would have required additional time to the one just completed.
For the past 20 years I have never been a fan of financial planners, insurance providers, wealth or fund managers including banks that provide their so-called customer services. WHY, a simple explanation: The Royal Commission. The sooner " Your Financial Future" is included in the education system the better.
The essence of financial services failings is the asymmetry of outcomes. The rewards for poor behaviour are high and the penalties are trifling.  Unless that is addressed, nothing will change. We need to create consequences for bad actors which include clawback of rewards.
Could have more responsible LVR's mandated. Money laundering via real estate
Massive funds going to unions from industry funds. That is not good.
Why existing customers of financial/insurance institutions are treated less favourably than new customers and how institutions can 'get away' with this and for so long and is still on-going.
Totally ignored all the good work done. It was ironic that they were so typical of greed when they were charging $1000 per hour. The money could have been better spent elsewhere. Farmers will now find it very difficult to get finance and it will be much more expensive
Financial planners need to be better qualified and actually plan, not just place people in investments. I was a financial planner, was good at it (as evidenced from all the referrals which built my business) and I observed that most others merely recommended a range of funds with trail commissions.
RC went after the “easy wins” that penalise small fry such as financial advisors and brokers and left the big boys off the hook.
I still think the overall governance framework of super is overly messy and complex, particularly if a life insurer is involved (which is why they have mostly gotten out). Probably not in the Royal Commission's scope, but I'm disappointed that none of the recent enquiries have addressed this.
The unfairness of FASEA in driving older financial advisers to retire early
Senior regulatory personnel should be prevented from being remunerated in any way by any regulated institution for a minimum of 5 years after leaving the regulator's employment.
A lot of it was a witch hunt. People are being hurt eg credit crunch, many are being tared with the same brush. Be careful what you wish for.
Seems to me it missed the point that many people are financially illiterate and major attempts need to be made to improve this. People get into situations which an informed person would never get into. Many also lack an understanding of how things work eg lady who blamed the bank for misuse of a trust account (it is not the bank's fault).
Ending the role of mortgage brokers and banning trail commission (the banks own the products that pay the commission and will just keep it) will mean that the banks that were the cause of the RC will be the bigger picture winner from it!
See Graham Hand's article - 8 points missed
Vertical integration was the element they missed. Instead it targets the minnows mortgage brokers and employer default relationships. I hope the recommendations don’t get legislative support.
Showed in the end it didn't really understand the industry.  The proposed ban on advice fees being paid from products will actually incentivise further vertical integration.
An investigation into industry funds was the glaring omission.
The RC should have banned Financial Planners from charging Asset Based fees - he missed an obvious opportunity to remove incentives for poor advice. He should also have made it compulsory for all super funds to allow advice fees to be charged by registered planners (within limits) - this would have stopped superannuation churning to a large degree.
Union influence / governance of industry funds
Conflicted smaller players such as SMSF spruikers. By this I mean those who advise clients to "get an smsf and invest in products I own". This was exposed the Sam Henderson piece but is there anything stopping this from continuing? I realise the focus was on the majors but I'm struggling why these type of operators can't continue as always, granted with higher penalties perhaps. But that's only for those who get caught. Happy to be proven wrong on this.
Hr Hayne should have made sure wrong doers will face the law not left it to the govt.
Mismanagement of rural loan-books by bankers who do not understand the dynamics or time horizons needed for such long-term lending. They should also have put more emphasis on banking loans management in regard to small and medium urban businesses.
Likely to adversely impact small business like mortgage brokers and financial advisers much more than the major source of the problems identified - senior executives of the big institutions. A perverse outcome.
Too focussed on retail funds. Industry funds might have better returns, but they have the same amount of governance issues.
The Royal Commission missed presenting their outcomes holistically, that is what percentage of customers were affected by the banks/insurance companies misbehavior? The commission appears to have sought (and achieved) a sensationalized outcome, rather than presenting a true picture of the state of Australian banking.  I also felt that some in the Commission were 'full of their own self-importance' that impacted the way they spoke/dealt with (specifically style/tone/level) those who presented to the Commission.
I object to the general idea that ignorant and ill-informed consumers are entitled to perfect results every-time at a very cheap price. You have to learn thing yourself with money affairs since there are always going to be rogues about.
It missed being driven or advised by anyone with any commercial knowledge of our industry
Fees charged by financial planners could have been raised at the commission.
Miss: credit cards, TD rollovers, Lack of context of the importance of the financial providers and that the great majority are happy with the services they receive
as far as independent advisors are concerned, hardly touched the tip of the iceberg
Most of the bank and financial offices very senior executives should have been named and shamed. There are those who have been complicit in a far more destructive way than Ken Henry. Talk about being the fall guy!
The Commission did not look at capital percentage charges made by portfolio administration services.
A more thorough investigation into practices at Industry Super Funds. Plus Stockbrokers, or at least Financial Advisers providing Financial Product Advice to Retail Clients, were not mentioned. Plus their whole MO is centred around commission in the form of brokerage and churning is rampant in that part of the industry.
The inquiry into misbehaviour will now form how Royal Commissions operate in future. All businesses and industries make mistakes and views of behaviour change over time. The lack of ability to provide context to issues, creates a fertile opportunity for star-chamber behaviour by counsel assisting and a smorgasbord for the press and politicians to vilify and find guilt in all.
Hayne demonstrated he is a populist. Does not really understand the markets and has a very narrow view. Consumers will suffer as a result of his efforts.
Industry Super funds - vertically integrated, conflicted, inaccurate reporting, fees hidden and unfair, lying about the people who benefit (Unions and Labor party), sole purpose test ignored, advertising misleading and deceptive
If insurance products were covered I would have liked to know why, as a male, I cannot opt out of hysterectomy services in my private health cover
The results of this RC confirmed greed and corruption is extensive. Consider the damage to our reputation internationally.
Superannuation was poorly covered and probably beyond the competence of the RC.
The general lack of financial literacy and the consequent need for financial advice and yet the community is unwilling to pay for advice. How can this be addressed? We have a system of compulsory superannuation and choice of funds, does this make the government responsible for providing advice on which fund to choose?
Given the terms of reference, very little missed. I think that the details said it all.
The Royal Commission successfully proved widespread misconduct, but does not have the depth of knowledge about the industry to recommend correct solutions.
Outrageous marketing behavior by super funds such as todays revelation that Aust Super is offering Qantas points as an inducement.
Missed scrutinising organisations involved in touting for business by offering to arrange super payouts on the grounds of ill health and other issues where concessional measures are available under the Act. Also those encouraging use of super funds into property speculation (not looking promising of late).
Hayne has done his job well He has brought to the fore issues of importance. It is now up to the government and the regulators to get on with it.
Could have done more to expose bad behaviour
Banks should be restricted to the government guaranteed disintermediation function and directly linked functions only. All others should be sold - broking; insurance; corporate & personal financial advice; capital markets; fund management; financial product creation etc. A simpler boring institution with lower paid executives but government guaranteed. The other functions do not require the guarantee and should be separately managed.
Perspective, balance!
all the same, nothing but a few bits and pieces changed
The main "miss" was in not seriously addressing the conflicts in vertical integration of product manufacturers and financial advice. Financial "advisers" in this context are simply product salesmen, and their business cards should properly identify them as such.
I only know what the media reported but I thought the bland statement "charging dead people" was a bit rich. If a person dies someone has to produce to say AMP a certificate of death as evidence of that fact followed by a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration so AMP knows who is entitled to be paid. If executors/administrators and/or their lawyers are "slack" in advising AMP then they should bear part of the blame!
It lacked teeth in terms of the final report and dud not give the public enough venting time.  The more public stories the more likely there would have been tangibles.
Conduct of Super trustees, industry funds & the need to improve financial literacy
Money and men can be a bad combination without morals. We do not live in a perfect world and never will.
the need for better education for the punters at an earlier age.
You cannot legislate ethics or moral conduct but you can certainly legislate stupidity. While planners education can be improved, nothing has been said about educating the consumer who needs to take some responsibility.
Industry Funds and the way they misrepresent their fees.
Missed banks having to write off bad debts, comment on community benefits etc,
Too much to list.
The focus on mortgage broker commissions overlooked the more serious problem of brokers falsifying loan applications in order to secure those commissions. A knowingly falsified application is FRAUD.
There was a lack of scrutiny on the quality of products and services. Everything focused on fees and this does not tell the whole story. Industry funds were glossed over and given a free ride. There was so much focus on specific details that a bigger picture view was not taken which would have provided a better outcome for the industry as a whole. We will end up with more band aid regulation and legislation that will only serve to do more harm than good in the long term.
The ToR limited its scope to the misconducts put forward by the players, so little opportunity for any wider analysis.
Implementing more individuals or institutions for criminal charges
Penalty interest and overdrawn fees
It ended too soon
Maybe a bit too hard on Ken Henry.
Lack of balance. The defects exposed were a tiny fraction of interactions with customers. Too much focus on gotchas and news cycle. Ken Henry got it right.
I would like to have seen mention of fees in super eg. limiting fees to 1% of account balance and less for mysuper products
Addressing a form of advice for small clients that isnt compliance prohibitive. addressing placement fees. addressing the qualifications of industry fund board members
the size of slice of the cake the senior executives collect compared to employees when a business division meets its performance critieria.
companies offering benefits to new clients and not provide the same to existing clients.
Missed a proper grilling of the industry funds. A waste of time and money by lawyers who ideologically don't want to understand how the financial system works and think greed and profit is a criminal offence.

Anyone who had the temerity to attempt an answer not considered correct,or who was not suitably meek,mild, humble and contrite even if his knowledge was incomparably superior to Haynes or Counsel,had a good chance of being arrogantly destroyed by the Headmaster,for some historical mistake which even wasn't on his watch.

bank owned Funds were singled out, what about mis-selling in other parts of the overall industry ie Stock Broking , Motor Vehicle Finance / Leasing etc.
Should have recommended mandatory financial education in schools as our society has very poor financial knowledge allowing predators to take advantage. I can't see this substantially changing.
The truly guilty (lower/middle management) got away scott-free! vertical integration should be disallowed. Split up the banks!
Did not seriously look at the operation of Union-owned super funds, which will likely promote their growth to the disadvantage of other operators in the market
Vested interests of industry AND commercial funds. Defence of SMSFs, Future Fund as default and SMSF investment option
Harder topics such as how does the industry deliver value to more Australians was not addressed? Or even harder, how to best remunerate providers of value? Justice Hayne has given us all more knowledge, he has persuaded and influenced us, he has us making different decisions about our financial lives.

But he hasn’t delivered us more value. It will be a pity if Justice Hayne’s report is best remembered for how it influenced the culture of today’s industry masters. We had hoped it provide the forward regulatory path needed to accelerate the delivery of greater value for us all.

Need to change the mindset of directors of the institution, by changing the directors. Need more non-experts. Too many bankers and experts on the boards. The experts are executive, boards should be able to challenge, hence not locked in same mindset
What the industry funds are up to, with their reporting or lack of and fees taken with no disclosure there will eventually be a Royal Commission into them
Mainly failed to properly address vertical integration.
I think your other article and the comments there are already covering what could have been done better.
There were individual people treated very badly. lt was missed opportunity to help them
There are issues which cannot be seen as Haynes lives in his own castle in the air. Australians hate paying fees and after 35 years of FP I have only ever had one client who agreed to pay up front all the others, regardless of wealth, wanted it deducted from product. The same applies to review fees.

On the insurance side you would know that insurance is never bought it always has to be sold. People don't like paying for it so the work involved in insurance is difficult and having done the required lead up work for a client done the plan and presented it only to find that they are declined (or asked to pay a premium for being overweight etc); try asking them to pay for the advice! Of course they can get it from a bucket shop where there are "no underwriting requirements"

The terms set by the Govt. for the Royal commission were very narrow and dictated by the banks and only done under political pressure, as a result I am not sure if the current coalition govt. will ever really implement any changes, their heart is not in it.
Looking at shifting the burden of proof in relation to some offences and focusing on enforcement action against individuals rather than institutions.
Some of the deeper and less obvious conflicts: for example:

1. the retail research model, whose revenue models rely on the very fund managers they are purport to "research";

2. Shelf space on platforms

3. Platform cash margins

1. Examination into the high interest rates charged on Credit Cards for purchases and cash advances.

Failure of the Banks to properly advise in advance changes (or at all) to home loan mortgage features. Ie Redraw facility capped arbitrarily below original amount of facility. Defeats the purpose of the loan in the first place and the interest rate remains unchanged!

It blindsided the mortgage industry. It was meant to be a review of poor banking practice, yet the banks walked away with a profit windfall... and bank shares went up as a result!
RC has inadvertently given way more power and 'cred' to the union funds than they deserve. They play a big game of smoke and mirrors and will continue to be supported in our change of government.
What about the "good" the financial services industry provides to the public?

What about the "personal responsibility" the public have on themselves to do their due diligence?

They missed including Macquarie Bank in their targeted banks. Why??? From our experience, they should have been at the top of the list.
Would have liked more investigation of superannuation and recommendations for transparency and accountability. For example, Superannuation Complaints Tribunal decisions should be public with at least funds identified. It all contributes to consumer knowledge and accountability - openness is good for democracy.
Doing the job they were set to do instead of deflecting it elsewhere. Apparent they didn’t work towards better consumer outcomes but worked towards better Big 4 Bank outcomes.
The details of what are "fair" Financial planning and management fees did not rate a look. As did the practice of charging a fee based on % of FUM versus flat fees for service.
Whilst significant issues with some practices in relation to financial planning I feel Govt, APRA, ASIC do not carry out the functions  they exist for.

In case of Govt let us remember the managed investment schemes which created much of the woe in the rural sector-- Gunns, Great Southern etc paying 10% commissions to fin planners in a scheme dreamt up by John Howard's lib govt. With regards the rural sector farmers must be aware of their cash income and sensitivity of commodity prices when seeking loans to buy the next farm -- I feel the high borrowing end of the farming sector wish to socialise losses and nearly operate in a negative gearing environment-- those farmers should not be given credence in a royal commission environment-- the banks have to have some security.

As for APRA, ASIC, and even ASX they really leave the gate open-- and if there is an area we should review it is ASX companies who operate through Bermuda or other tax havens.

Fee for no service became a catchphrase but it’s not clear that when the Royal Commission rhetoric dies down there are sufficient scrutiny and powers available to regulators and fair trading organisations to prosecute any organisation charging in these circumstances. It seems likely to only be morally enforceable.
Naming the Mangers who cheated and demand their prosecution.
Missed opportunity to address how to deliver affordable advice to mass clients. Missed opportunity to call for abolition of retail super and smsf. Only industry funds can deliver the right performance and they should be able to provide strategic non-product advice to their members. SMSF is a con and scam for property spruikers, accountants and planners.
Further investigations into Superannuation policies and setting strict guidelines with an independent body to enforce and monitor strictly - banks will go back to third old ways as soon as heat does down.
Hitting mortgage brokers instead of banks seemed to have missed the point, but then Hayne had to be seen to do something after months of headlines. What a profound waste of time and money it all was.
I am a 25year+ planner and therefore biased.

However, we split our business in 2003 into those who wanted regular updates and specific fees - and those who simply wanted a personal face for their accounts. Most of the latter were commission based accounts.

The changes could have been made in so many more practical ways, that would have allowed individuals the chance to operate under informed consent.

Leaving vertical integration alone is a travesty. Leaving the AFSL system in place makes a foolishness and a joke of the claims for cries for "professionalism". I am not aware of any profession that must operate under an institution just to practise.

That is an inherent conflict of interest.

The misconduct identified in the RC was NOT in the area of grandfathered commissions - other than through institutional greed and misrepresentation.

Making small planning groups pay - with zero consideration and an absolute dismissal of impact - for the transgressions of banks and bank officers and the AFSL system, is flawed at law.

It is a fact of law that A should not pay a penalty for the criminal/immoral acts of B.

I see the final recommendations as a waste of what was otherwise a huge amount of excellent investigation and work.

This article, and every other article, is claiming to speak for every "grandfathered commission" client - and their nominated adviser - in the country.  What evidence (actual evidence) underpinned those claims to authority?

Zero. I am disgusted at the triviality of debate on this issue.

it sorted out the greedy CEO s
compensation process for those ripped off
Banks are likely to benefit from this, which was the complete opposite of the initial intention... unbelievable.
Banks preferencing new customers. Minimising mountains of paperwork needed in investing.
They did an excellent job in a short time. The vertical integration issue will be an ongoing problem, however.
The Commission doesn’t understand the truism that past performance does not guarantee the same level of future performance.
I will be more closely monitoring their activity.
Will the regulator ever do any surveillance of the ISA sector, or is it as Hayne says "nothing to see here"
Waste of time and money. Banks highly regulated already, meaning regulators not doing their job.
CGT & Centrelink changes have locked up clients in many old style funds. Provide a moratorium
Quite naïve approach in many ways - reforming an industry based only on crimes committed within it will not end well. The view of motivations driving poor behaviours and of conflict management that Hayne has taken are utterly flawed, again not likely to drive good solutions.
A labor Gov may change my views
Dispense with the Spanish Inquisition style of RC hearing - are there any lawyers who aren't 'Smart Alec's'?
The Commission did not canvass the role of professional bodies in the disciplining of delinquent members. The public do not know of the powerful actions by the Law Society and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in disciplining members. As a CA of some 55 years I look in wonderment at the lack of professional standards and controls over registered financial planners. If such planners were CA's the disciplinary actions by the Institute would be severe. Same with the Law Society.
The banks were winners, mortgage brokers and financial advisers and consumers - all losers.
Amazing result considering appalling government record in trying to appease their lobbyists for decades.
it did not address 'the advice provided' simply the payment system for financial/insurance advisers. advisers providing poor advice simply will now just get paid less for providing the same poor advice
I'd like to see greater competitive challenge to the 4 pillars. I'd also like to see much clearer product information and real world comparisons. The current legislated documentation with products is almost indecipherable, even to people with industry experience. To a forklift driver from Mount Druitt, it is likely to be utter nonsense.
Missed: Government super / future fund.
Looking at returns of super funds will not achieve anything as returns go up and down. It is the overall strategy and asset allocation that should be looked at to ensure client best interest.
Customers/clients need to educate themselves to not take on too much debt and be aware that Companies are there to make money not to give anyone a free ride.
There was always a risk that this Royal Commission would become political, purely due to the timing and the current climate. Was that risk mitigated? Possibly not
The Royal Commission examined issues that were reported to it by consumer groups, regulators and issues previously reported by financial service providers to regulators.

Issues such as valuation of illiquid assets and use of related party services in the Industry Super Fund sector were not examined because they have not been reported by the Funds nor issues rasied by APRA. With so much money already with, and more moving to, these Funds this should be a one of the focus areas for ASIC and APRA within the next 3 years, expecially as it impacts fund returns which are being used as the basis for satisfying member best interest tests when justifying some questionable spending.

Need to ensure conflict of interest from lenders doing their own valuations is addressed.
bankruptcy and the rush to liquidation particularly in relation to farmers.
They missed the whole concept about adviser & client relationships.
I think in the time frame did an excellent job
The light shone on too little.
Kenneth Hayne is an eminent jurist but his understanding of business and finance is average at best. This is not uncommon for members of the legal profession generally.
Other conflicted remuneration such as commissions to brokers of IPOs, LICs etc.
RC focus on misconduct and operatic performance lead to excessive expectations. Poorly stage managed.
commission structures and related incentives remuneration of senior executives - structure and quantum
We urgently need to sell risk. MySuper set the bar far too low. Fasea will cause a massive exit of risk writers. We need separate education requirements for each of wealth, risk, mortgage with some common new elements about ethics and client best interest.
How having insurance commissions assisted in people actually getting cover. No if people have to pay they would probably not want cover and in the end they leave themselves exposed.
It did not address the fundamental issue of unethical behavior over a very long period of time. Hayne is ignorant of finance and was led astray by big business as usual. FP's and the Mortgage brokers are just too easy to attack. A weak report with no real change other 40 to 70,000 people out of work.
Missed most of the victims. Too short, due to government conditions. Report too quick, possibly because Hayne wanted to present before the election, because he realised he was wasting his time and because proper implementation would not occur.
Many areas were outside the ambit of the Royal Commission and that was disappointing.
Vertical integration including related party managed accounts should have been outlawed for all providers including the intra fund "advice" exemptions.
While I believe the RC was necessary, it was turned into theatre by two young lawyers who treated their 'prey' with contempt and disrespect.  We could have come to the same conclusions without this.
The CEOs and Chairman (and other senior executives and board members of banks should be held personally accountable and for unethical and illegal conduct/business practice and if found guilty face prison and financial penalties.
My understanding is the terms are set by the political party in power, and hence much of what is missed relates to that parties vested interests
Excessive Salaries and director fees paid for very bad peformance.
Banks got off very lightly, public servants to impact, besides given another chance, the small business owner has been loaded up with extra expense that will need to be passed onto the comsumer.  I expected the consumer to end up a lot better off, this is not the case.
As a fee for service Financial Planning business, the report has just wiped $500000 off the value of our business. We never charged trail, and investigating the clients position had income come in from what was set up previously. Many of these were small clients who needed advice and we have continued to support them if they have questions even though they were not big enough for service agreements. This will stop once the trail stops as the risk for no reward is massive. I believe this report will negatively hit small business and small investors much harder than the banks. For me, almost 20 years as a fee for service planner will end. Im sick of the tail wagging the dog and imposition of compliance that will make the client worse off not better is insane!
That Boards cannot know everything that’s happening day-to-day. To sheet accountability home as if they can, is ignorant and threatens the viability of the best governance model available globally.
What about the hidden Industry Fund rate of return vs the one they are allowed to publish & trumpet?
Financial Regulation is the child of successive governments, and their willingness to legislate and provide the funds necessary to prosecute where necessary.
I believe there was the opportunity to investigate industry funds and the relationship political parties have with this, as well as asset prices not being struck regularly in industry funds. A missed opportunity.
Manager rebates to portfolio constructors/ platforms and whether product manufacturer's ability to pay sponsorship to an AFSL (RG246 still vague IMHO)
Hayne clearly does not realise the duties of a mortgage broker and does not understand the impact of his comments regarding risk commissions
Destruction of intermediaries like mortgage and risk advisers will lead to poorer outcomes.
ASIC's high-level purpose in section 1(2) of the ASIC Act needs to overhauled. The aspirations for ASIC are ideological gobbledygook and cannot be met in practice.
Omitted attention to SMSF's (accounts for ~30% of Super assets) and the stockbroking sector ... we are well behaved
They should have recommended two types of advice providers, tied and independent.
Could have highlighted the fees that are charged by the Superannuation Funds, which is one of the reasons that led to my setting up a SMSF plus giving me more control.
Trustees for hire
The commission missed the entire point. The banks balance sheet is protected and small business owners again attacked.

Regarding super / insurance and advice the Industry funds will profit immeasurably. Farcical kangaroo court that benefited the primary targets although one would suspect interference.

Same with mortgage brokers. Look at Comyn's testimony. What a farce. The Netherlands model is completely different re deductibility of interest. The UK banned life insurance comms and then reinstated it.

You need to sell insurance as it benefits families and communities and takes away reliance on the State.

What Hayne said about insurance through super is woefully inadequate and driven by the FSC and other bank lobbyists.

The heart of the problem - a system rife with integrated advice and product
Beyond my skill set. Your recent Cuffelinks had a suitable article detailing several issues.
Industry Funds and probably the fee structures of platforms, cash accounts and managed funds.
Cost of advice to rise and many will not be able to obtain. This will play into the hands of the banks where will go direct rather than either mortgage or insurance brokers.
We have no option but to change as we will have to produce more paperwork which clients will have to pay for that do nothing for them from a wealth creation point of view
This was supposed to be a look into the banks and to ensure they are run appropriately. I think the commission missed this dramatically. There was no detail on whether super funds are run appropriately (especially with industry funds) all the wrong doings were predominantly with banks, however, banks come out unscathed and stronger as now customers will have to pay for everything hence contributing to their profits. It will reduce competition, and in a few years’ time we'll be scratching our heads and going, what happened? This was supposed to hold banks accountable, add more competition, when this will all erode competition. Better off moving to a corrupt country, at least then you are well aware it is going on, unlike here were they hide it in different forms and don't call it what it is.
The RC wasn't happy with the likes of Comminsure using out-of-date medical terminology when assessing claims, but not once did they raise the issue of the likes of QSuper, Australian Super, LUCRF and Sunsuper changing the definition of Total and Permanent Disablement making it almost impossible to claim on except in the most severe of cases - it seems as though the RC had their blinkers on in a lot of cases.   I also think super fund Trustee independence wasn't focussed on enough.  The RC righly slammed some of the retail funds for not putting their members interest first but the industry funds got a relatively free pass and avoided scrutiny in most cases Comm. Hayne seemed he was playing favourites.

Overall I feel the report didn't match the case studies and the report/recommendations was actually disappointing.

The RC also seemed to take too much time with various witnesses reducing the amount of time to uncover other issues.

As a finance industry professional, I know if I knowingly and deliberately committed fraud, acted dishonestly, I'd lose my licence to operate, be fined, and potentially go to jail. The immoral actions of those at the top of the finance food chain should be sliced with the same cold blade the rest of us would be. Only results like jail time and proportionally financially crippling fines will scare others from acting the same way in future.
The link between industry funds, the union movement, and the ALP.
It is the Banks, Licensees and Executives that need to be held accountable not the financial planners or mortgage brokers who provide a valuable service to their clients.
It's waste of public money.
Industry funds' payments to political and union organisations.
Need a follow up in say 3 years’ time to report on actual changes made by Industry and produce another RC report
I would have liked to have seen some investigation of the industry funds instead of being ignored almost entirely.
see your 8 points memo. nowhere near enough witnesses from the clients.
Stockbrokers. Advice businesses putting clients in related party investments inferior - conflicted advice.
I feel the commission missed an understanding of what consumers are seeking. Yes some poor advisors shown, but clients have all sorts of reasons for having an advisor.  There was no mention of the conflict Solicitors have to create fee income at all opportunities as they have no recurring revenue. Current compliance requires us to advise clients annually that what they are paying , at what point does the client need to take responsibility?
Agree with Graham's 8
Missed out on bringing more superannuation funds with advice businesses under scrutiny
Where do we start?  The 'old' volume bonuses advisers had in place were changed several years ago to be 'profit share'.  Placement fees for new issues that brokers 'sell' to clients to get the 1% and then sell to get out?
They went light on insurers who weasel out of paying up what they should.
The RC had unlimited power to scrutinise businesses under its spot light.  However, that has proven to be the easy part. A large number of recommendations that flowed will not assist or protect the consumer.  Rather it will preclude the everyday consumer from obtaining simple advice and participants in the industry will end up servicing the high net worths only.  All in all, very disappointing.  Ironically, the major banks are the beneficaries of the RC.  This grates the most!
Consequences matter. The Commission missed the fact that 'bad behaviour' effectively has no consequences in our financial services sector. Hayne should have explored the reasons behind that structural issue. I don't see that any of his recommendations will change the fundamental issue.
Executive Pay - are they worth the millions they are paid - answer NO. who is on the bottom of the pole, politician, banker or used car salesman? its a close call but I'd say the used car salesman is probably handing back his get out of jail free card and rising above the other two this week
the consequences of the scrutiny on the banks is flowing directly through to the advice channels who are already grappling with regulated changes. Many of the issues identified have already been addressed through regulation still yet to be fully enforced and they are going to change the goal posts again.
Limited Investment options offered by Superannuation funds
Meant to be into large banks but the final report impacts small business the most - mortgage broking and independent financial planners - neither of which had opportunity to speak. Inherently unfair process and result.
I think the RC should have looked at accountants and real estate agents providing advice on people's SMSF's. I've had numerous Estate Agents ask me about buying property though a SMSF. Surely they have a lot to be accountable for.
As I am a financial planner myself, with no home loan, who uses an insurance broker, who has an SMSF, and who already avoids the big 4 banks (I'm with Bendigo), my answers above may seem to be ho-hum, business as usual.  They are NOT.
General public need to step up their basic knowledge of products and not run to the government/media every time they get into trouble. Need to be more aware of what they are signing up to
Culture issues endemic across all businesses, due to current capitalist model. Ignored all of the smaller unregulated lenders...future problems will come from her as credit tightens further
As above, Hayne's skills as a lawyer shone through to find the facts, the bad guys, the bad behaviour. This was all good work and should be applauded.

His opinions on how industries should be structured however are very flawed and should just be viewed as 1 man’s opinion not as a gospel to follow to the letter.... His recommendations in this respect need to be debated and all repercussions need to be considered.

more on jail time for individuals
Industry super funds, transparency of assets and their valuation. Multiple accounts, fees and multiple insurance, suitability of fair work commission as regulator.
It missed all the very happy customers of AMP financial planners who've done a great job for us, but whose business is now at risk because of the RC's narrow approach.
The high cost of financial advice. Barriers to being an independent adviser
The RC didn't examine financial markets, merchant banking, IPOs or fund management - perhaps good that it didn't.
More emphasis should have been put on the shiny tail regulators who were being paid very well for not doing their jobs.
It's too easy to bash banks and planners. I'd like to see similar investigations into industry super, solicitors, politicians, accountant concentrating on Integrity. It is unfair to pick on one industry. What is fair for one should be fair for all. The extra study requirements for long standing reputable planners is unnecessary. Politicians don't have to have qualifications. Rarely do they act in the client's best interest.
When it comes to dealing with the Big Four and major wealth management instos, the Final Report was much short and softer of what was indicated in its Interim Report.
A recommendation to apply a Glass-Steagall type of law to apply to all banks.
Apart from only looking at low hanging fruit it missed low cash returns in the super phase and didn't touch valuations of alts. We don't won't to find out issues when a fund is in decline and is forced to sell.

The most depressing part is it is now reliant on politics as they are merely recommendations (not an RC fault). I don't think much will change.

There was very little focus on maximising the utility of the consumer.  Too much focus on "hard cases" leads to restrictions which will work against consumers, particularly those with less economic resources.
Hard to blow the whole industry up and start again. It's a start. Already sick of being told by everyone how to behave. I think I will stick with what mum and dad taught me.
RC missed the many clients who have been well served by the banks and financial advisers.  Largely ignored the macro view, and being driven by lawyers ignored the economics of providing financial advice.
Was clearly biased against for-profit funds, against for-profit advice, against for profit-brokers - the only beneficiaries are 1) union super and 2) lawyers (see above).

Forced destruction of consumer-servicing industries does not benefit consumers - given consumers choice and allowing consumer and business freedom improves consumer outcomes - not more laws which reduce personal freedom and increase power of monopolies - whether banks in credit or union funds in super.

What is getting missed is that if so many people are being misled then maybe the government have an onus to raise financial literacy. Even just having economics as a mandatory subject in school would be a start.
Missed the target on prosecution of all individuals - if you or I robbed someone, the beak would throw the book at us. Many of these (Ian Narev first of all) should be charged with theft, fraud and institutional abuse
I am hoping that other organisations such as CBA quickly address the harm they did and take steps to rectify damage caused.  It seems to me that it could be very easy for a lot of that harm to escape further attention [and action].
Would like to have seen greater emphasis placed on aligned v non-aligned advice, benefits to consumer from non-aligned advice
Industry super fund misbehaviour and union control.
It missed the misconduct by the banks and AMP.
The bloated industry cost structure
Way to limited and should have investigated compliant a individually with quarterly resolutions
The focus on "culture" - an undefinable concept at best - completely ignores that the "culture" has changed rapidly in recent years, in particular since the issues being examined were, largely, occurring. It also provides a skewed example of the conduct of banks in particular and, because the media is not interested in truth or justice, just fires, and is happy to throw petrol on anything burning for the sake of content, this will be to the detriment of Australia, the country, as a whole.
Pretty much all the issues it needed to address - With over 60% of the superannuation pool being held within industry funds - it beggars belief that they were without sin. Totally incomprehensible from what I see with my day to day interactions. In short if they are working with members retirements savings - they should meet the exactly the same obligations that a licensee does - and they attendant adviser
The range of issues addressed in banking was very narrow.


Graham Moore
April 09, 2019

When Super came in years ago and up until a few years ago large companies would not let their workers have their super in any thing but what they wanted . I tried a few times with the few different large companies i worked for . It was all ways the same issue . NO! . I know better now and should have pushed harder . One year i watched as my company super was rolled over by the elected company / worker delegates to a bank super fund. The future ESTIMATE differed by about $100 000 . No one seemed to pipe up and what i said fell on deaf ears . Makes me wonder ! I still have the old and the new paper work as a reminder of those folly days ! GM

Graham Moore
March 28, 2019

Every one has missed one major point . Automatic insurance covering TPD ,out of work and accounting fees being too high .eg . In my instance the insurance/ fees were taking about $8000 of about $9500 in any one year. This left $1500 of it going , into the accumulation account . It was / is being hidden in the amount of super payed in every week by the companies i worked for. They payed for the insurances or so i was told But its all ment to go into ones super minus their proper fees and insurance I did not notice the extent of the gouging it until i stopped work for awhile . Non of the banks ever payed more than the lowest rate in 20 years. I Sorted this out last year and what a difference it made . A huge difference !

February 25, 2019

It is time we repealed the "responsible lending" legislation thanks to the ALP (Circa 2009). We now have a crazy situation where, if I default on my loan, it is the bank's fault.

We need to revert back to the situation which has existed for centuries, and that is, people must meet the obligation in any contract they sign, and that that contract is enforceable in law. Let's put the responsibility for debt repayment where it belongs - on the borrower

Satisfied bank and financial planner customer
February 24, 2019

It missed any mention of the vast majority of situations in which Australians have deposited money, been paid the interest they were promised and been able to walk up to a little hole in the wall and get some of it, or go on line and pay their bills.

It missed any mention of the vast majority of situations in which Australians have obtained a loan, for home purchase or a personal loan or a business loan, and used the funds for the purpose they intended, made their repayments and had no problems whatsoever.

It missed any mention of the vast majority of investors in funds owned by the banks or AMP that got what they expected and have happily stayed invested for years.

It missed any mention of the vast majority of investors who used a financial planner that worked for an agency that was aligned with a bank or AMP and had no troubles at all, got sound advice and has been happily with their planner for years or decades.

It missed any mention of the fact, therefore, that our banks and financial institutions essentially do what they're meant to do and expected to do with a high degree of satisfaction. It didn't attempt any analysis of the % of total bank, financial planner or super fund transactions or client interactions that were handled poorly, unethically and in a few cases illegally. It instead sought to do the opposite of the old song about accentuating the positive and was given a mandate to accentuate the negative.

It has therefore caused far more angst and concern than is necessary for the system. For the individuals who've been scumbags to their clients, yes, great that they're exposed. But the RC has chosen to throw mud all over everyone in the industry by simply not stressing that the % of all bank dealings that they have dealt with is small.

Except perhaps in the way they dismissed many of the small business complaints. If a bank lends you money to start a business and the business fails then of course the bank is going to take the security you put up. What else do you expect?!!! Or of the bank said no it's probably because they know what credit risk looks like and it was staring them in the face when you came in the door.

This is not diminishing the seriousness of some of the situations the RC did uncover and address, but perspective was lacking.

The honest banker
February 25, 2019

Hear, bloody hear.

As someone who's worked diligently and honestly for the benefit of customers and members in the banking & finance sector for a couple of decades, to find now that I'm, apparently, working for a pariah industry because of the structure of the RC and the need for witches to hunt is extremely disheartening.

Most people have zero problems with their banks and banking, and lots benefit from the other activities that banks in particular pursue under their various social charters.

I wonder if Westpac are thinking of decommissioning the helicopters, seeing everyone's out to get them? Save some cash to pay for Shorten's "fairness fund".

I'm also appalled at the bloodlust in the commentariat generally - here included. "Throw them in jail!" and suchlike.

No, how about hold people to account against the applicable laws if laws have been broken, and allow the justice system to do what it does? Let's not get the ropes over tree branches, shall we?

You'll find, in time, as the RC washes through, very few people who can have a finger pointed at them about whom the statement "You did something illegal" can be made. I saw lots of poor systems and poor decisions - not much actual criminal behaviour. And lots of blame being sheeted home to "the banks" for things done by smaller companies who aren't even part of the sector.

Paul B
February 21, 2019

It looks as though we may need a Royal Commission 2 with all these feedback comments!

George G
February 21, 2019

Is it just me, but with the 24/7 news cycle, offshore detention and medivac scares, ministers giving dodgy evidence, the looming NSW and federal elections and the coming football season ... it already feels like the RC was so long ago.


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Rising recession risk and what it means for your portfolio

In this environment, safe-haven assets like Government bonds act as a diversifier given the uncorrelated nature to equities during periods of risk-off, while offering a yield above term deposit rates.

Investment strategies

‘Multidiscipline’: the secret of Bezos' and Buffett’s wild success

A key attribute of great investors is the ability to abstract away the specifics of a particular domain, leaving only the important underlying principles upon which great investments can be made.


Keep mandatory super pension drawdowns halved

The Transfer Balance Cap limits the tax concessions available in super pension funds, removing the need for large, compulsory drawdowns. Plus there are no requirements to draw money out of an accumulation fund.


Confession season is upon us: What’s next for equity markets

Companies tend to pre-position weak results ahead of 30 June, leading to earnings downgrades. The next two months will be critical for investors as a shift from ‘great expectations’ to ‘clear explanations’ gets underway.


Australia, the Lucky Country again?

We may have been extremely unlucky with the unforgiving weather plaguing the East Coast of Australia this year. However, on the economic front we are by many measures in a strong position relative to the rest of the world.

Exchange traded products

LIC discounts widening with the market sell-off

Discounts on LICs and LITs vary with market conditions, and many prominent managers have seen the value of their assets fall as well as discount widen. There may be opportunities for gains if discounts narrow.



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