Hayne incites confusion over financial industry codes

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 18-Mar-19

Financial services industry codes have been designed by industry bodies such as the Australian Banking Association and the Financial Services Council. The banking code is enforceable through contracts between banks and customers, but codes covering non-banking financial services are not legally or contractually enforceable. One of the Hayne royal commission’s recommendations was that industry codes should be more legally enforceable, but governments, regulators and industry bodies are uncertain as to how to implement the recommendation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION, FINANCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL, INSURANCE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Banks get a damning ASIC report card

Original article by Misa Han
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 18 : 12-Mar-19

Australia’s four major banks and AMP have set aside over $1 billion to compensate customers who were impacted by the fee-for-no-service scandal. However, along with Macquarie, they have been attacked by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission for the time it is taking them to identify and compensate customers who were affected by the scandal. ASIC has also criticised the big four banks, AMP and Macquarie for not conducting further reviews of the systemic failures that led to the scandal in the first place.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, CLSA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

AMP and Clayton Utz roll over for ASIC

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 12-Mar-19

An AMP spokesperson has confirmed that it has withdrawn its claim of legal and professional privilege over documents sought by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission regarding the fee-for-no-service scandal. Clayton Utz had been involved in the claim; the documents in question included notes taken by Clayton Utz in interviews with AMP employees over the scandal. ASIC deputy commissioner Daniel Crennan attacked AMP for trying to delay its investigation, although he said it was pleased that the sought documents had now been released.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, CLAYTON UTZ

Labor fully committed to Hayne

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 12-Mar-19

Shadow financial services minister Clare O’Neil will use a Committee for Sydney speech on 12 March to reveal that Labor will reject only one recommendation in the Hayne royal commission’s final report if it wins the upcoming federal election. Labor has joined the Coalition in opposing the proposal to shift the cost of mortgage brokers’ fees from lenders to borrowers. Labor has previously only expressed in-principle support for many of Kenneth Hayne’s recommendations.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, COMMITTEE FOR SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

Labor plans to slug banks $640m to pay for fairness fund

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 25-Feb-19

Labor proposes to establish a Financial Rights Fund if it wins the 2019 federal election, which will assist victims of misconduct in the financial services sector. The so-called ‘fairness’ fund will be financed via a new levy on Australia’s largest financial institutions, and is slated to raise $160m annually over four years. This is in addition to the federal government’s bank levy. Amongst other things, Labor’s levy would be used to provide consumers with free financial counselling and significantly increase the number of government-funded financial counsellors.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Follow-up to bank probe

Original article by John Kehoe, Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 14-Feb-19

Labor’s push to recall parliament for an additional two weeks in March seems unlikely to succeed after three crossbenchers signalled that they will oppose the motion. Meanwhile, the federal government has told banks and industry regulators that it will hold another inquiry in three years’ time to make sure that the misconduct exposed by the financial services royal commission is not being repeated. Labor in turn has proposed harsher penalties for misconduct in the sector.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

Reforms ‘won’t be easy’, says APRA

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 21 : 14-Feb-19

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chairman Wayne Byres has defended its track record for overseeing the financial services sector, after APRA was criticised by the Hayne royal commission. Byres acknowledges that APRA must be more active in regulating the financial services sector, but he notes the challenges involved. He points out that APRA has a workforce of just 600 to supervise nearly 600 financial services providers, and only about half of its employees have a frontline role.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

Katter hands PM a temporary reprieve

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 5 : 13-Feb-19

Financial Services Council CEO Sally Loane has cautioned against rushing legislation through parliament in response to the final report of the financial services royal commission. Meanwhile, independent MP Bob Katter has signalled that he will not support Labor’s push to recall parliament for an additional two weeks in March to implement some of the inquiry’s recommendations. He argues that the federal government should take action immediately. Katter has also described the royal commission’s recommendations as "worthless".

CORPORATES
FINANCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Banks’ election risks rise

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 12-Feb-19

Labor requires 76 votes in the lower house to force parliament to sit for an additional two weeks to legislate some of the Hayne royal commission’s recommendations. The support of crossbenchers may be crucial, and independent MP Bob Katter says he may be prepared to back Labor’s motion. This could potentially see the government abandon a deal struck with Katter regarding supply and confidence following the Wentworth by-election. Prime Minister Scott Morrison argues that there is insufficient time before the election to enact all of Hayne’s recommendations that will require legislation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY

Henry should not pick new NAB chief: Costello

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 12-Feb-19

Former federal treasurer Peter Costello suggests that regulators’ failure to prosecute misconduct in the financial services sector was due to reluctance to enforce the law rather that funding constraints. Costello also believes that it is inappropriate for National Australia Bank chairman Ken Henry to oversee the appointment of a new CEO. Henry will step down after a successor to Andrew Thorburn is recruited. Costello adds that bank directors and executives must prioritise compliance with the law in the wake of the financial services royal commission.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. FUTURE FUND MANAGEMENT AGENCY, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC