On 22 January 2018 the Commission invited submissions from the public in relation to past conduct by financial services entities. This invitation remained open until 28 September 2018.
The Commission’s online web form asked people to complete a series of questions about the nature of their dealings with a financial services entity, the entity involved, and the nature and timing of the conduct.
The Commission received 10,323 submissions from individual consumers and business owners, former employees within the financial services industry, academics, and industry and consumer advocacy bodies. In addition to submissions received through the online form, the Commission also received submissions either by email or in hard copy where the submitter was not able to use the online form.
Each submission was analysed by the Commission and information was collected on the nature of the conduct identified, how the financial services entity or any other relevant body responded to reports of misconduct, and what the outcome had been for the submitter. This information and the submissions were provided to Counsel and Solicitors Assisting the Commission for further review and analysis alongside other information and consultations that were undertaken.
Information received in public submissions assisted the Commission with lines of inquiry in each of the rounds of public hearings, as well as informing the Commission’s understanding of the extent of misconduct or conduct falling below community standards within the banking, superannuation and financial services industry.
The Commission continued to receive submissions in relation to the topics explored in its public hearings after those hearings had concluded. For example, issues in relation to consumer lending and personal finance continued to be the most frequent topics raised in submissions on past misconduct. The Commission continued to review and analyse those submissions, and used them to inform its understanding of issues throughout the year.
The following summaries provide detailed analysis of the issues and types of misconduct that were commonly raised in the public submissions. Discrepancies between totals and sums of components are due to rounding.
The Commission acknowledges that submissions on past conduct provided by members of the public often took significant time and effort to prepare, and in many cases involved revisiting difficult experiences. These submissions also often contained highly sensitive personal information, including financial and medical information. For that reason, the Commission has not published submissions on past conduct on its website.