Hayne banking royal commission a waste of time and money

It’s been two years since the final report of the Hayne banking royal commission was handed to the Governor-General.

To date, only 27 of the inquiry’s 76 recommendations have been implemented by the Morrison Government, and what was supposed to be a “watershed moment” in banking reform looks to have become a shocking waste of time, money and effort.

The Australian’s Richard Gluyas captures the essence of the farce:

Consumer Action Law Centre chief executive Gerard Brody says the royal commission was a “watershed moment”.

“Unfortunately, I worry that we’ll be seeing consumer harm and losses persist because of a failure of the government to implement the full suite of reforms,” Mr Brody said…

The proposed removal of responsible lending laws would enable lenders to have their own credit assessment and approval processes, lessening their accountability for ensuring loans were suitable and repayments were affordable.

The risk, according to Mr Brody, was a return to the “greed and sales cultures of the past”, with regulators having much less power to hold lenders to account after the removal of civil and criminal penalties.

“Individuals will lose their right to take legal action for compensation when there is a breach of lending standards,” he said.

“This will exacerbate the power imbalance between banks and their customers.

“The Hayne report said that too often financial entities that broke the law were not properly held to account — if the government’s proposal becomes law, then there is little likelihood that they can be kept to account at all.”

Commissioner Kenneth Hayne also appears dismayed at the situation, refusing to give interviews to media about the government’s refusal to implement his report’s recommendations:

Hayne could see the future — that he would outlive his usefulness as soon as the final report was tabled in parliament on February 4. Since then, he has batted away every request for an interview, emailing a dissertation to The Australian on why he had to say “no”.

“I have said to those who asked that, as the commission was coming to its end, I decided that my ­report must speak for itself,” Hayne wrote.

“Once I delivered the report, it would be for the political branches of government to work out and decide what should be done in response without my seeking to add to what appears in it.

“That is why I have made no comments and given no interviews about the matters that were the subject of the commission.

“In these circumstances I must leave your questions unanswered. I am sorry not to be able to help. I hope I have explained why.”

Thus, this once-in-a-generation opportunity to clean-up Australia’s banking industry has been squandered by the Morrison Government, which has instead ceded to its mates in the banking and property industries.

Lending standards will be eased, predatory and sub-prime lending will be green-lit, all under the cover of a global pandemic.

Sure, the royal commission made for some great theatre. But what did it achieve in the end, other than to prove once and for all that Australia is the property equivalent of a narco state?

Unconventional Economist
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  1. The90kwbeastMEMBER

    A sombre but entirely expected conclusion… Wonder if there has ever been a cost figure assigned to the commisson?

    Strata is the property country and soft corruption is only getting worse, not better.

  2. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Hahaha it was hilarious when the old judge pr!ck was rude to Josh but who gets the last laugh hey? LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!

  3. Under current circumstances, tht is political circumstances, where all lobbying is the most important form of governance it will be suffice to say that any Royal Commissions conducted into any industry are a waste of time and money.

  4. Display NameMEMBER

    The terms of reference and duration ensured it was still born. The inability to investigate root causes (governance structure) meant it was just whitewashing.

    • Banking commission done? Tick!

      Were any of the recommendations adopted? Yes, then ‘recommendations were adopted’. Tick!

      Decontextualised box generation and box-ticking is awesome, and for Rentier Winnerz!

        • Hayne can do nothing but give the politicians a report. What makes you think they would have listened if the terms of reference were different.

    • Jumping jack flash

      The whole thing was a thinly veiled attempt of Labor to crash the economy. They were still annoyed about Howard and Abbott’s comments about “sound economic managers” and “adults being in charge” etc, etc, so what better way to upset everything and prove the ineptitude of the Libs than to restrict debt in a debt economy and watch it all turn to the proverbial? I mean, really?

      Libs knew what was up. Still, everyone insisted, so it went ahead.

      Fortunately the adults were in charge and knew what to do when it was all over.

      Restrict debt in a debt economy? Really? What were they thinking? Hopefully that never happens again.

  5. pfh007.comMEMBER

    No surprises there!

    But then what do people expect when they continue to kid themselves that all that is required is moving a few decks chairs around ,a bit more regulation ,a few more cops on the beat, a bit more macroprudential or a bit more responsible lending.

    If you don’t like the private banks turning control of the public monetary system into a fundamental part of their business operating model then we actually have to do some thing that fixes that problem.

    If the same sox attracted can get married despite what the god botherers want then we can certainly reform how the public monetary system operates.


    End the banker monopoly on RBA deposit accounts NOW.

  6. darkasthunderMEMBER

    The Hayne/Frydenburg photo opp when the report was released was priceless. Palpably reluctant to shake Joshie’s hand. Hayne knew it would be buried even before the ink was dry.

    • call me ArtieMEMBER

      I thought pretty much that when I first read the announcement and saw the photo. But I actually suspect Hayne may have just thought that it was inappropriate for a Royal Commissioner (ex judge) to be seen endorsing any political party or person by implication. Hence he opted to refuse the handshake photo. On the other hand, he did manage a marvelously dour visage…

  7. How about a Royal Commission into the Effectiveness of Royal Commissions at generating meaningful, or for that matter, any, change.

    • We could ignore that one too.
      Reminds me of the Garling one in NSW into health. Announced with much fanfare after a few hospital stuff ups the media had decided to run with and highlight daily.
      Much expense and publicity. Then just died with a whimper somewhere after it’s purpose was served.

      • OF course, it’s purpose being placate the media circus until something else distracts them and then quietly ignore the findings when they’ve moved on.

      • Isn’t that the first rule of Royal Commissions? They are designed to placate the media in the a short term or embarrass a political opponent. They are not designed to actually change anything.

  8. Jumping jack flash

    “Thus, this once-in-a-generation opportunity to clean-up Australia’s banking industry has been squandered by the Morrison Government, which has instead ceded to its mates in the banking and property industries.”

    The mates in the property and banking industry are simply providing an essential service for the good of the Nation, possibly the entire planet, depending on how deep you want to go. Scomo and Joshy-Boy are giving the people what they want – instant riches, and lots of stuff.

    The banks create and provide the debt to the people; the property industry ensures that house prices rise in accordance with the debt. It is the foundation of our economy. Everything else emanates from that rock-solid foundation of debt and debt growth.

    Its super-clean too, not a single speck of pollution needs to be produced. Nothing else is actually required. We no longer need to do anything except borrow gargantuan amounts of debt and then pass them up the Holy Pyramid of Housing to ensure our economy grows in perpetuity.

  9. The banks can’t hind behind the old bullshit lines about due diligence etc anymore and the government can’t say they didn’t know. That alone makes it worthwhile. I wish it had accomplished more but, Murdoch likes his governments weak and most of those in parliament have their snouts in the trough as well.

  10. master of toilet paper

    what do you expect if you get jarryd hayne to run a royal commission into banking he is a football player

  11. “Sure, the royal commission made for some great theatre. But what did it achieve in the end, other than to prove once and for all that Australia is the property equivalent of a narco state?”

    At least a few more people have been alerted to this fact. It has also provided confirmation to those who were unsure.

    You have to take the wins where they come. It was never going to be a slamdunk big win. But all the government are doing is forcing down the top on a pressure cooker that is slowly getting hotter and hotter.