I spent three days last week in Sydney, and the media is full of news about the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. The government in Australia has been resisting an inquiry into banks, but Malcolm Turnbull has relented and agreed to a but not without some careful consideration of the scope of the inquiry itself.
The government has opted to manage political issues in the scope of the inquiry. The inclusion of industry super funds and wider financial services provision looks to be making it pretty large. After all, insurance has already had quite a working over in Australia, and is implementing a new framework in the new year. But adding superannuation is being reported as a way to bring the unions into the scope through a review of the industry funds. The Association of Superannuation Funds Australia (ASFA), who have just completed their annual conference, announced their displeasure at the decision. You can read all the details at this link.
Consumer resentment of banks is evergreen, of course, but the Australian inquiry will mean a higher profile for consumer issues related to financial services here too - because of increased opportunity to compare with Australia, and questions about whether examples of misconduct are also occurring here.