“Justice delayed is justice denied”: CHOICE on overdue Banking Royal Commission draft laws

CHOICE survey reveals widespread public support for passage of Banking Royal Commission draft laws.

“The Australian community has not forgotten the scandals of the Banking Royal Commission. However, it’s been two and a half years since the Federal Government committed to cleaning up the banking industry. Many victims remain without the compensation they deserve while many banking executives have got off scot-free.” says CHOICE’s Banking Policy Adviser Patrick Veyret.

This is a media release from CHOICE. It was originally published on 21st October, 2021.

This comes as a new nationally representative survey by CHOICE shows widespread support for the passage of two landmark Royal Commission reforms including a compensation scheme of last resort (CSLR). The survey found:

  • 8 in 10 Australians (81%) agree victims of finance investment scams should receive compensation if they have lost money. 
  • Almost three quarters of Australians (73%) indicate they support a compensation scheme for victims of financial misconduct.   

“In February 2019, the Federal Government committed to establishing an industry-funded compensation scheme for victims of financial misconduct. The scheme has widespread public support with almost three quarters of Australians supporting its establishment. It’s time for the Federal Government to act and establish a strong compensation scheme,” says Mr Veyret.

“Justice delayed is justice denied. Over 1300 people have had their complaints and compensation awarded paused until the Government passes the scheme. People have lost their entire life savings and are stuck in limbo. For many, compensation is the difference between living a secure retirement and facing a life on the aged pension in the insecure private rental market.” says Mr Veyret.

The survey also found that there is strong community support for personal penalties for finance executives, while trust in executives to treat customers fairly remains at very low levels. The survey found:

  • 9 in 10 Australians (90%) agree finance executives should be subject to personal fines when they break the law.
  • 15% Australians trust Australian finance executives to treat their customers fairly.

“The Australian community expects that banking executives are held to account when misconduct occurs under their watch. Executives who appeared before the Royal Commission admitted to targeting vulnerable consumers with harmful products yet not a single banking executive was prosecuted.” says Mr Veyret.

“If designed correctly, the new Financial Accountability Regime will hold finance executives to account, ensuring customers are treated fairly.”

Legislation is expected to be debated as early as next week, with the Federal Government announcing its intention to pass both bills by the end of the year. 

“By passing these two important laws, the Federal Government has an opportunity to right some of the wrongs of the Banking Royal Commission” says Mr Veyret.

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