Royal commission: Final report release date revealed

The Hayne royal commission’s final report will be released on Monday after the close of trading on the Australian Securities Exchange, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says. The Government will receive the report into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry on Friday and Mr Frydenberg will hold a press conference after it is made public on Monday at 4.10pm. Commissioner Kenneth Hayne did not make draft recommendations in an interim report published in September but made clear that past conduct has not been appropriately dealt with by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. The document was based on the first four rounds of hearings and did not include evidence presented during the insurance round, but questions for discussion highlighted potential regulatory changes that could affect the whole financial services sector. An “issues arising” paper published after the general insurance round questioned the adequacy of the current disclosure regime, whether an exclusion to a ban on conflicted remuneration should be continued and explored giving ASIC jurisdiction on claims handling. The final report is expected to recommend tougher enforcement including stronger penalties for misconduct, while the commission has also flagged the potential to link codes of practice to existing financial services laws. NIBA CEO Dallas Booth says no evidence was presented to the inquiry that suggested commissions and conflicted remuneration were a problem in the general insurance broking sector. “We are certainly hopeful that at least in relation to brokers there will be nothing on that point,” he told “Brokers were not mentioned in any of the misconduct case studies or in any of the background papers or other submissions on misconduct.” Commissioner Hayne says in the interim report that the inquiry’s work to that stage had shown conduct by financial services entities that had brought “public attention and condemnation”. “Why did it happen? What can be done to avoid it happening again? These are now the key questions,” he said. The royal commission heard evidence from 134 witnesses over the course of seven rounds of public hearings last year. Almost 400 statements and more than 6500 exhibits were tendered to the inquiry. 

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