CHOICE membership

Royal Commission into the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry



You could say that about anybody who was appointed. Do you have evidence of his bias specifically or are you saying that he is biased based on the principle that nobody in the world can be trusted? I am all for a degree of scepticism but, lacking specific evidence, in making such accusations you are being just as unbalanced as those you accuse.

It is fair to say that everybody approaches such issues with some leaning one way or the other. The question is though can the Commissioner be professional and put aside such feelings and serve the people impartially.

If we don’t trust high court judges to put aside personal feelings and to try each case fairly our system of justice is doomed in many more ways than having cowboys in the banking sector.


Read @grahroll’s post a few prior to this. Commissioners are appointed to serve their masters more than to do a job. Perhaps I am over cynical, and often am, but.

Retired senior public servants and similar figures of all kinds are appointed for a reason, and it is not because they rock boats much. Been there, seen and experienced that. Job 1 is to support and progress ‘the program’.


Excellent! Hornet’s nest kicked.
The amazing thing I see in all of this is that, according to the initial article I posted, these banks have broken the law. Directors have responsibilities that sit within the Corporations Act. Where are the federal police? Why aren’t they arresting these directors immediately? People have been arrested and incarcerated just for voicing an idea that could be construed as seditious or protesting against a human rights abuse… I struggle to see the justice.
And, what is this “justice” when it can be manipulated by the highest bidder. Show me a poor solicitor!
A RC is really just more smoke and mirrors… if the Govt. can “choose” this then what’s the point of the law? (or democracy for that matter).
The banks getting behind it isn’t convincing either. PR spin101… “tell them what they want to hear, not what you want to do”.
I see people (“Consumer Defenders”) joining this conversation and I’m seeing honest ideas, questions and answers… not advertorials, not press releases and no one is being paid to write in this forum. I don’t believe we are all just jaded, seditious hippies… but if the PR is to believed (which it never is), we’re the enemy of the State.


Not that I agree with Katter on many things but some “sage” words perhaps from him on who should chair the RC from an article in The New Daily

“Maverick independent MP Bob Katter described the government’s backdown as a “win for the Australian people”.
“But the question remains of whether it’s a pyrrhic victory or not,” he told The New Daily.
“The battle next week is to whether we can force him to do it our way, or whether he’ll get away with doing it his way.”
Mr Katter argued the commissioner should be a “representative of the people”, not a former judge as planned.
“Tim Costello leaps to mind, or Father Frank Brennan. I disagree with these blokes on a lot of things but they are people trusted not to be in the pockets of the banks,” he said.”

The article has some good comments by the original whistleblower that helped start the Senate Inquiry in the CBA Financial Planning scandal. @TheBBG linked to the article in his post

As HC Judges are politically appointed by the Govt of the day (the legal speak is “By the Governor-General in Council”) when a vacancy occurs you can suspect that the choice made has political leanings similar I would think to the way US Supreme Court Judges have political leanings. This does not mean they are not Learned in matters of Law but it can flavour the judgements passed. I think Malcolm was expecting some of this “flavouring” in the recent HC cases on the Citizenships of Federal Parliamentarians.


An op-ed with a good discussion.


I see that they had the same concerns about Macro-prudential policy that I do. My suspicions confirmed and I do hope these draft terms have that amended to allow/demand inquiry and recommendations into the policy. This part is vital to a proper outcome.


With the Big 4 Banks setting the Terms Of Reference to this Turnball-backflip Royal Commission, then you can bet your every last dollar of fees and charges that it’s a Claytons RC.

The fix is in.


Now it is no longer a RC just into banking:


Well CBA admitted that they breached the Money Laundering and Anti Terrorism Laws (Isn’t that then a Material Support of a Terror Organisation situation) over 53,000 times and are expecting more charges to follow.

I wish they could jail a bank. I also received money from CBA today as reimbursement for dispute fees and interest.

The system is so rigged in the many Banks (plural) favour that I think you would find it hard to locate a really ethical one.


Warning… Stepping up onto soapbox. Ready?

The very Large private business entities will, with only a few notable exceptions, put the wellbeing of profits and dividends before the wellbeing of customers and consumers.

As these entities become bigger, ethics & morals become more and more diluted. This is I believe because one individual in the entity pushes the boundary a tiny bit, and another one pushes that moved boundary, and the next one pushes that same boundary a bit further … These incremental changes lead to a systemic changes where the clients are no longer unique individual living and breathing consumers, instead they become commodities to be manipulated to maximize the income generated by the entity.

With this in mind, look for

  1. smaller entities, where the senior management aren’t too far removed from their customer base. Hopefully they still recognise that their customers are real people.
  2. look for entities where the most senior people are not professional board members. This prevents ossification of wrong headed thinking, and periodically brings in new ideas.

Perhaps you might find this in a community bank or credit union?


However, as the entity grows, it becomes ‘one of them’:frowning:


More news on the royal commission into banking:


This can go hand in hand rather than polar opposites. If a bank is concerned about its reputation, then it will try and meet the interests of its customers…has a good reputation means more customers, more money infested/borrowed and flow on benefits to the shareholders…namely potentially higher profits and returns on investment.

The system fails when individual interests (within the bank) override the interests of the community (customer base). When individuals are incentivised through bonus systems (KPIs) to sell products, then the system is destine to be corrupted by individuals. When there is pressure to sell products to meet KPIs for bonuses, individuals within the bank (whether it is an officer level through to the CEO) will make decisions in their interests to gain bonuses rather than what is in the interests of their customers to protect their reputation. Quick gains to achieve bonuses drives culture and decision making potentially to the detriment of the bank customers.

The difficulty with the system at the moment is it is still difficult to change financial institutions as it is time consuming and somewhat complex. The banks know this and hits on reputation will only potentially change the decisions of potential new customers, rather than the existing customer base.

If individuals owned their own unique banking number which was transferable between banks, then it would be easiler to change ones financial provider…as the new unique banking number would be registered with the new financial institution and existing automatic transations would automativally port across as the unique account details for transaction remain the same (just in a dirrents holding bank)…I suppose it would be a bit like a telephone phone number than can be churned to another telecom company…without requring a new number to be created by the new telco and need for one to advise all friends of the new number.

If one held ones own unque banking number, then customers could easily leave a financial institution in droves, placing pressure on the banks to maintain relationships and reputations. It could destabilise the banking system…however, would install proper competition between the banks .


One important issue is customer service. I have evidence that the Commonwealth Bank does not answer emails, does not address complaints about staff from customers and refused to escalate a complaint when requested to. There is a culture of cover up and trampling on the rights of customers.


Would selling loans when the debtor has $0.00 in the game be ethical?


Hi @Joe1,

This is a good point as the complaint resolution process can determine how ones views whether a matter has been adequately adresses and therefore resolved. If it is difficult to gain a response to simple or more complex inquiries, then it may show that the current system has failings resulting in escalation of the issue higher such as to the ombudsman or media.

Maybe the Royal commission could investigate how compalints/matters of concern or non-compliance are dealt with, including who is responsible for the ultimate resolution decision. Review processes on decisions are also important when decisions are not as expected or thought to be unsatisfactory.

In today’s technological banking age, often ones only dealing with a financial institution is when something goes wrong (with exception of other dealings possibly associated with the setting up of accounts/loans), so ones own impressions of the institution is based on this contact. If it is not a reasonable process with satisfactory outcomes (either positive and negative with grounds for the decision explained in detail), then ones mouth may be soured very quickly.


I don’t know if it is just me getting older and cynical but I reckon this royal commission is being steered to get an outcome the big 4 banks can live with.
In the past a royal commissions were watershed they shone the light on all the bad practises, behaviours or corruption involved in whatever issue they were investigating, they ultimately made recommendations to cure the problem although often not all their recommendations were ultimately acted upon.
But this commission feels is different, the feel about it is odd, everything from the terms of reference being skewed to look at super and the quiet acquiescence of the banking industry now that the royal commission has been announced makes me feel the back room deal is done, in racing parlance the ‘fix is in’ and what we will get after many hearings and much taxpayers money being spent is pretty much the status quo, sure a few heads will roll and a few rules will change but in essence it will be businesses usual.


Surely you aren’t suggesting it’s all a game, staged, with a known or at least planned outcome? Have you seen a doctor about that old and cynical problem? because if you have, I’d like to know what they prescribed because I need a double dose of it ! :slight_smile: No, I don’t think old and cynical is a bad thing, but its a bit negative, older and wiser might be a better way to look at it … thats how I try to see it when I’m feeling particularly cynical (and old) …

My perception is that they just appear to roll - it’s just a show, the same heads always seem to pop up somewhere else earning big money like nothing ever happened …

The banks seem untouchable - its only when they go so far over the line that it can’t be swept under the carpet that anything is done. CBA found that out recently, but really, what actually happened and how hard were they really punished for their shabby handling of big cash?

Maybe I’m just old and cynical … oops … older and wiser.


Yes agree. It relates to the bank disclosing information and allowing customers to be heard - which is a consumer right.


Well the banks belong to us because of super… super is everything… according to the banking lobbyists… they have even created a website to prove that to us whinging customers.
Don’t you just feel so much better about the banks now? Thank you Australian Bankers Association Inc.