Jaw dropping moments from Australia’s Royal Commission
By Kirsten Hastings, 20 Apr 18
It’s squeaky bum time for senior executives as Australia’s banking, superannuation and financial advice firms face the intense scrutiny of a Royal Commission. Click through the slides below to read some of the incredible moments from the first week of the review into financial advice.
As evidenced by the global financial crisis, bankers and senior executives are infrequently held to account when things go wrong – even when they go catastrophically wrong.
Will Australia be any different?
A widely covered issue this week has been the admission from Australia’s largest insurer AMP that it repeatedly and intentionally lied to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Asic) for over 10 years.
Treasurer Scott Morrison and Asic have emphasised that individuals could face criminal and civil penalties for lying to the regulator.
The Australian Government unveiled tougher penalties on Friday that could see corporate criminals face a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment.
Financial services firms found in breach face a maximum fine of A$210m (£115m, $163m, €132m) or a 10% penalty on their annual turnover.
Those providing false or misleading information to Asic could get five years in prison, an increase from the current two-year sentence.
The move is seemingly unrelated to the Royal Commission, with Morrison and Kelly O’Dwyer, minister for revenue and financial services, stating in a joint press conference on Friday that the tougher sanctions were the outcome of the 2016 Financial System Inquiry.
But has the horse already bolted?
Newspaper The Australian spoke with senior lawyers who downplayed the prospect of AMP executives or directors doing time for lying to Asic.
Time, as they say, will tell.