Banks play an integral role in Australian society and the economy.
Australia needs strong, well-regulated banks that act with integrity, honesty and in the spirit of fairness associated with the Australian way of life.
Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, reiterated this at a banking function in 2016.
Banks operate in a privileged environment with a unique business model underwritten by taxpayers. Consequently they operate under a significant social license.
Record Levels of Systemic Misconduct
Unfortunately, since the global financial crisis (GFC), Australia has seen an unprecedented level of serious, systemic misconduct by banks. In many cases, the impact of such conduct upon customers of banks is financially and emotionally catastrophic.
A primary objective of this site is to address this unacceptable societal problem. The big-banking lobby often try to position any criticism of the industry as ‘political opportunism’ or ‘bank bashing’. For example:
Given the unique position of trust and taxpayer support the industry receives, we must be able to make legitimate observations in relation to serious, systemic industry misconduct, without being positioned as ‘bank-bashers’
Mr Turnbull also reinforced this point when addressing the industry. He said:
Government and community expectations are such that where customers are impacted by systemic unconscionable or criminal behaviour, that
- The misconduct is promptly acknowledged by banks.
- The misconduct is properly investigated by regulators.
- Individual bank executives are held to account for misconduct.
- Customers are promptly and fairly remediated / compensated.
Australia’s Treasurer, Scott Morrison detailed this expectation in 2017.
The aim of this site is to highlight the current gap between these public expectations and the banking industry's conduct along with regulatory responses.