The head of the banking royal commission has confirmed that an interim report with its initial findings will soon be made available, raising concerns around where improvements in regulation need to be made.
Commissioner Kenneth Hayne announced that he will provide an interim report to Australia’s governor-general by 30 September this year.
In a statement, Mr Hayne said the commission will be “inviting submissions on the policy-related issues identified in the interim report”, which will cover the first four rounds of public hearings.
Those hearings focused on:
- Consumer lending
- Financial advice
- Loans to SMEs
- Financial services in regional and remote communities
A number of policy concerns are expected to be addressed in the report. Yet for business lending specifically, counsel assisting the commission suggested at the conclusion of those hearings that no new regulation of lenders was needed, but rather, better oversight and enforcement of existing rules and regulations.
Once the report has been published, the public will be able to make submissions on the identified policy issues, giving voice to concerns that the royal commission has not delved deep enough into the problems SMEs face in dealing with banks and other financial services providers.
“Following the conclusion of Round 6 in late September, the commission will have held six hearing rounds exploring a range of issues across the banking, superannuation and financial services industry,” Mr Hayne’s statement said.
“The conclusion of Round 6 will mark an appropriate time to close the current online public submission form and for the commission to shift focus from examining past experiences to looking at policy-related issues which have been identified.”
Despite the royal commission uncovering many examples of blatant misconduct and unprofessionalism against business and individual customers, a recent My Business poll found that very few business customers have witnessed any real change in how their bank deals with them.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.