Banks on front foot on government’s reform agenda: ABA

  • By AB+F Editorial

The Australian Banking Association has backed the government’s timetable for legislative change following the Royal Commission and will work with the government to continue implementing the Commission’s recommendations.

According to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the “need for change is undeniable and the community expects that the Government’s response to the Royal Commission will be implemented swiftly”. 

He outlined a “reform roadmap” that includes measures to improve consumer protections and strengthen financial regulators. 

According to ABA CEO Anna Bligh the six changes to Banking Code are all underway.  

“The ABA has already drafted provisions implementing five of the changes, had them agreed to by banks and submitted them to the regulators for approval. These are now on track for full implementation by March 2020,” Bligh said.

“In relation to culture within banks, many, including the major banks, have already completed reviews. These banks have also introduced mechanisms for the ongoing tracking of culture to determine whether actions are having the necessary impact,” Bligh said.

“But banks understand that effective cultural change is not going to come about through implementing the Royal Commission recommendations alone. It will only be achieved by putting the customer at the heart of every decision our banks make.

“In addition, all banks continue to review how they remunerate staff, with a focus on good customer outcomes, not just meeting financial targets,” she added. 

Following the release of the Royal Commission's final report, the ABA established a dedicated Royal Commission Taskforce to oversee the industry’s implementation of the recommendations. 

This Taskforce has met six times over the past six months and will continue to meet regularly to ensure the industry responds swiftly to the government’s legislative processes and acts to fully implement the recommendations.