On 4 February 2019, I released Restoring trust in Australia’s financial system, the Morrison Government’s comprehensive response to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. In it, the Government committed to take action on all 76 of the Royal Commission’s recommendations and, in a number of important areas, go further. It represents the largest and most comprehensive corporate and financial services law reform package since the 1990s.
Of the Royal Commission’s 76 recommendations, 54 were directed to the Government, 12 to the regulators and 10 to the industry. Of the 54 recommendations directed to the Government, over 40 require legislation.
In addition to the Commission’s 76 recommendations, the Government in its response announced a further 18 commitments to address issues raised in the Final Report.
The Government has implemented 15 of the commitments it outlined in response to the Royal Commission’s Final Report. This comprises eight out of the 54 recommendations that were directed to the Government and seven of the 18 additional commitments the Government made as part of its response. Significant progress has also been made on a further five recommendations with draft legislation either introduced to the Parliament, released for comment or detailed consultation papers issued.
The Government’s implementation timetable is ambitious. Excluding the reviews that are to be conducted in 2022, under the Implementation Roadmap by mid-2020, close to 90 per cent of our commitments will have been implemented. By the end of 2020 remaining Royal Commission recommendations requiring legislation will have been introduced.
In this Implementation Roadmap, we set out how we will deliver on the remaining Royal Commission recommendations and additional actions committed to. This will provide clarity and certainty to consumers, industry and regulators on the roll out of the reforms.
Of course, the Government’s actions alone will not be sufficient to address the widespread misconduct identified by the Royal Commission. Individual firms must make the changes needed to their culture and remuneration practices to put consumers at the core of their business. I expect industry to also align with the urgency and priority the Government is giving to its implementation task.
The Government will ensure that key firms in the financial sector continue to address the issues identified by the Royal Commission. At the request of Government, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics will inquire into progress made by major financial institutions, including the four major banks, and leading financial services associations in implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission. As previously announced, we will also establish an independent review in three years’ time to assess the extent to which changes in industry practices have led to improved consumer outcomes.
The Government is delivering lasting change in the financial sector to ensure public confidence is restored.
The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP