SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s big banks and wealth managers pursued profit ahead of their customers’ interests and saw regulatory compliance as a cost rather than a guide to proper conduct, a scathing interim report from a commission of inquiry said on Friday.
The sector has been rocked by months of revelations of wrongdoing stemming from the Royal Commission, driving down share prices and trashing the reputations of some of the country’s biggest companies.
Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s report was brutal in its assessment of the industry’s ethical standards and governance while also criticizing efforts by the regulator to police behavior, although it did not immediately recommend any legal action or reform. A final report is due in February.
Authors: Colin Packham, Tom Westbrook