Keeping industry accountable

The Government expects that firms and industry associations will implement the Royal Commission recommendations directed to them. These recommendations will:

  • provide greater protections for bank customers, including vulnerable consumers, small businesses and farmers;
  • allow for greater sanctions to be imposed following a breach of an industry code of conduct; and
  • ensure firms regularly review, and address any issues with, their culture, governance and remuneration systems.

Industry implementation is outlined in Appendix C.

In the previous parliamentary term, the Government put in place parliamentary scrutiny of the four major banks by asking the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics to inquire into and report, at least annually, on Australia’s four major banks. The Committee held five rounds of hearings, including a final round in March 2019.

To ensure transparency in relation to the actions being taken by industry and that they are held accountable for their actions, following a request by the Government, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics will inquire into progress made by financial institutions, including the four major banks, and leading financial services associations in implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

As announced in Restoring trust in Australia’s financial system, the Government 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 and the need for further reform.