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CBA escapes royal commission threat

The federal government has ruled out holding a royal commission into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning businesses, endorsing the bank’s Open Advice Review process.

In a response to the Senate inquiry into the performance of ASIC, finance minister and acting assistant treasurer Mathias Cormann announced formally that a royal commission into the bank’s advice arms will not be forthcoming, despite a recommendation for such a procedure in the initial Senate report.

“The Government does not accept the recommendation to establish a Royal Commission into the Commonwealth Bank,” Senator Cormann said.

“There have already been several comprehensive inquiries into these events and related matters.

“The Government considers that the most important focus today must be on resolving any legitimate outstanding grievances from affected Commonwealth Bank customers through the Open Advice Program and enforcement by ASIC.”

The Open Advice Review and independent review panel should be “given the opportunity to work and resolve any outstanding and unresolved legitimate issues for aggrieved CBA customers”, the statement from Senator Cormann said.

“The Government will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders in the financial services sector to build on recent improvements to keep lifting professional, ethical and educational standards across the financial advice industry,” the statement added, pointing to the government’s adviser register – details of which were released today – and proposals to introduce a national adviser examination, which the minister said the government is still considering.