Financial Services Royal Commission hearings conclude

The public hearings of the Financial Services Royal Commission have concluded.

Commissioner Hayne will deliver his Final Report by 1 February 2019.

The hearings and case studies have shone a spotlight on our largest financial institutions, insurers, and superannuation funds and those who regulate them.

It has given new meaning to reputation risk and customer-centred strategy: the test is no longer what if this appeared on the front page of the daily paper but how would you feel if your mother was treated this way?

Live web streaming of hearings allowed greater access to evidence as it was given and online immediate reporting by media. Sometimes being able to see the demeanour of a witness was as important as hearing the evidence itself.

Even when misconduct was admitted, witnesses conceded that breach reporting and remediation was slow to occur.

The Royal Commission also created a rich resource of information about the financial services industry in the form of background papers and research as well as the transcripts and exhibits.

Apart from the admitted breaches of the law, the evidence has raised important issues for corporate governance, culture, and remuneration for all companies.

ASIC and APRA will be more active and assertive in their enforcement activities having been subject to public examination.

The Final Report will be compulsory reading for directors and executives as well as risk and compliance officers and their advisers.

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