CBA royal commission decision ‘shameful’

Australian Greens MP Adam Bandt has labelled the government’s decision to decline calls to hold a royal commission into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning arm “shameful”.

On Friday, finance minister Mathias Cormann formally announced that the government does not believe a royal commission is necessary, endorsing the bank’s internal Open Advice Review process as a “comprehensive” solution to addressing client concerns.

Speaking to the ABC following the announcement, Mr Bandt expressed dismay at the decision, describing it as “shameful” and effectively accusing the government of big business cronyism.

“When a [blue or] green collar worker does something wrong the Abbott government comes down on them, but when a white collar worker does something wrong they get let off the hook,” the Greens MP said.

The same announcement from Senator Cormann also revealed that the government is not ruling out a proposal by ASIC to introduce a “cost recovery model” akin to those adopted by regulatory bodies in comparable jurisdictions in other parts of the world.

On the issue of ASIC’s “role, objectives and funding”, Senator Cormann said the government will wait until it sees the final report of the Financial System Inquiry before formulating any policy changes.

ASIC issued a short statement on its website, saying it “welcomes” the government’s response and explaining that it has “already implemented or is working to implement many of the recommendations to ensure it can contribute to better market outcomes for Australian consumers and businesses”.

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