Finance union says Australia's bank probe will not 'fix the rot'

Pedro Gonçalves
Finance union says Australia's bank probe will not 'fix the rot'

The Finance Sector Union, that represents workers in the Australian finance industry, said the Hayne commission final report fails to make the recommendations the sector desperately needs and will not "fix the rot".

According to FSU national secretary Julia Angrisano, the final report identifies many of the problems within the financial services sector, but fails to provide the solutions. She said banking is in urgent need of reform, and the recommendations "will not fix the rot that infects Australian banking".

Of the 76 recommendations in the "lukewarm" report, none of them address action on executive pay and bonuses, nor does any of them aim to improve professionalisation and self-regulation of culture, the FSU states.

Banking is in urgent need of reform and while the evidence to the inquiry shocked and angered the public, the recommendations released today will not fix the rot that infects Australian banking"

"Hayne says only that financial service companies would review at least once a year the design and features of their remuneration systems for frontline staff, and all financial companies should assess their own culture and governance. We know from past experience how ineffective self-regulation can be," Angrisano said.

The inquiry, however, is causing several heads to roll at the top of the country's financial industry. A day after Ken Henry and Andrew Thorburn's dramatic departures from NAB, Defence minister Christopher Pyne says he expects more bank bosses to quit in the wake of the Hayne report.

NAB wealth exit delayed

National Australia Bank (NAB), the smallest of the Big Four, said it expects to delay the stockmarket spin-out of its MLC wealthmanagement business until next year.

The bank said that while more detail was yet to arrive about the proposed legislative changes resulting from the recommendations of the Royal Commission final report, the current regulatory and operating environment for wealth business was tough.

"A delay of the intended public markets exit of MLC to financial year 2020 is now likely," NAB said in a first quarter trading update.

The bank confirmed it retained the flexibility to consider trade sale options, and said it would take a disciplined approach to the exit of MLC and make a move at the right time.