Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer has said that stakeholders should treat the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry as an opportunity to “reflect and reform” on the practices and actions that brought it to pass.
Speaking at the Financial Services Council Summit in Melbourne, O’Dwyer said the opportunity was “unprecedented”, and that the government was addressing this by “pursuing a comprehensive reform agenda to improve the fairness of Australia’s financial system”.
O’Dwyer challenged the crowd of financial services professionals to use the royal commission as a line in the sand.
“Use it to separate the behaviours that should not have occurred in the first place and the new post-commission era when trust is regained and maintained,” she said.
Putting the onus on the people who run financial services firms, O’Dwyer said the keys to repairing trust with the public were “effective leadership, good governance and appropriate cultures”.
“These are matters that companies need to tackle head on,” she continued, “and the government will be looking to firms to ensure they take all necessary action and play their part in restoring that trust.
Round 5 of the Hayne royal commission begins on August 6 and will focus on superannuation.
O’Dwyer warned that while the revelations about banking have been shocking, “it will be no different” when the focus falls on super.
“The significance of Australia’s $2.6 trillion superannuation industry for the wellbeing of all Australians cannot be overstated,” she said. “In a mandatory system, it is absolutely critical that we have the settings right.”