Media release

Banking Royal Commission: regulators must overcome ‘catastrophic impotence’

Commenting on the release of the Hayne Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, Brynn O’Brien, Executive Director, Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR), said:

“The Royal Commission has thrown light onto failures of corporate governance at every level: wilful misconduct by banking and financial services executives, inadequate whistleblowing protections, uninterested and disengaged investors, and authorities suffering from catastrophic impotence and ineptitude. These failures must urgently be overcome.

“It is ludicrous that it took a Royal Commission for institutional investors to collectively vote against remuneration packages and in the case of AMP, directors. Corporate democracy is weak if those in positions of power do not use the accountability tools available to them. Large investors should have taken action much sooner across the financial services sector.

“Companies that fail to adequately assess and manage ‘non-financial’ risk can face very real and severe consequences. Some of Australia’s oldest and largest companies may now get their just deserts.

“The integrity not only of our financial system, but of our whole economy, depends on strong and swift action. Regulators must be empowered and resourced to pursue those responsible.”

Media contact: Brynn O'Brien +61 423 951 316

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