As part of its decision to specifically look at SME finance, the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry will explore five key areas.
These will be:
- Responsible lending to small businesses, with a particular emphasis on ANZ, CBA, Westpac, Suncorp and Bank of Queensland.
- The approach of banks in enforcing, managing and monitoring loans to businesses, with CBA, Bankwest and NAB as key case studies.
- Product and account administration, using CBA and Westpac as primary examples.
- The extension of unfair contract terms to small business contracts, introduce by ASIC in the second half of 2017.
- And the Code of Banking Practice, involving ASIC as the banking regulator and the industry’s peak lobby group the Australian Bankers Association (ABA).
Hearings will take place in Melbourne for a two-week period between Monday 21 May and Friday 1 June.
To date, the royal commission has unearthed a raft of unethical and even potentially illegal conduct by banks and financial planners, with one customer revealing poor financial advice shattered her dream of opening her own business.