A Note on the Royal Commission

Over the last year or so, there has been much attention centred on the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

The central task of the Royal Commission was to inquire into, and report on, whether any conduct of financial services entities might have amounted to misconduct and whether any conduct, practices, behaviour or business activities by those entities fell below community standards and expectations.

We acknowledge that the findings that have been laid bare may have raised concerns for some of our clients. This is an understandable response given the nature of the findings.

At the core of the findings, the conduct, practices, behaviour and/or businesses activities of the identified financial service entities attributed to their failure in terms of the adherence to one or more of the following fundamental principles:

  • Obey the law;
  • Do not mislead or deceive;
  • Act fairly;
  • Provide services that are fit for purpose;
  • Deliver services with reasonable care and skill; and
  • When acting for another, act in the best interests of that other.

The Royal Commissioner, Kenneth Hayne, summarised it well when he said, “The interests of client, intermediary and provider of a product or service are not only different, they are opposed. An intermediary who seeks to ‘stand in more than one canoe’ cannot. Duty (to client) and (self) interest pull in opposite directions.”

With this in mind, in the recently released final report, The Royal Commissioner, Kenneth Hayne, made 76 recommendations, spread across several areas:

  • Banking;
  • Financial advice;
  • Superannuation;
  • Insurance;
  • Culture, governance and regulation; and
  • Regulators.

The Government also recently released their response to the final report, which outlined that they would be supporting all recommendations – and, in some instances going further.

We support any changes to the financial services sector that makes the experience and outcome for the client more favourable. We do not believe that the recommendations will have a material impact on the relationship with our clients.

Lastly, we would like to say that the position that we hold in our clients’ lives is a privilege. The trust that they place in us to help them realise their financial goals and objectives is something that we do not take for granted. We always strive to provide the best service possible to our clients and we are thankful for their support. Thank you.

If you have any queries or concerns relating to the Royal Commission, then please feel free to contact your adviser at WMG.

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