More 'shame' required over vertical integration

Vertical integration remains problematic for Australia's financial services industry, with "sufficient shame" not yet applied to the banks and to their chief executives, according to one industry expert.

"After a fiasco, we should have the CEO of the bank put their enforceable undertaking between their teeth and crawl naked to deliver it to ASIC," Alex Erskine, former ASIC insider and founder of Erskinomics Consulting, told yesterday's 15th annual Wraps, Platforms & Masterfunds Conference in the Hunter Valley.

Speaking to a room of nearly 200 delegates, Mr Erskine said vertical integration prevents institutions from having meaningful conversations with customers.

"I think it's a constraint because there is so much to defend when the empire is so large," he said.

"It's not clear that the industry is understanding the problems with vertical integration and is making a clear case for change."

Mr Erskine said that being vertically integrated does not stop institutions from making proposals; it stops them from making convincing proposals.

"If you were only running planning, or broking, and they were not related ... but when you have the whole lot, everyone's focus is diffused into how to measure all this," he said.

"Being a vertically integrated industry, it's not clear what the major banks are actually getting at."

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