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Royal commission branded as run to ‘political agenda’

Boutique fund manager SG Hiscock has called the Hayne royal commission a review run “to a political agenda” and not a proper inquiry into the broader financial services system.

Speaking at a media briefing in Sydney, SG Hiscock portfolio manager Hamish Tadgell noted that the Hayne royal commission is not one in the conventional sense of it being evidence-driven, rather it’s “a series of case studies that have been brought forward basically to a political agenda or a political timetable”.

“I think what [Hayne] did in that second round [of the royal commission] apparently is just brought forward a whole lot of other case studies and then they've just gone through and clearly drawn out the very bad examples,” Mr Tadgell said.

“I'm not condoning for a moment that they shouldn't be drawn out but this idea that that's potentially representative of what it is more broadly I think is probably wrong.”

Instead, Mr Tadgell pointed to the inquiry the UK ran in 2011 as an example of a proper review into a financial services sector.

“It was really two key findings that came out of that inquiry. The first one was that banks have to be financially strong, and the second was that you need to introduce more competition,” he said.

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However, Mr Tadgell said the Hayne royal commission doesn’t actually have a mandate to introduce more competition to the financial services system but thinks it will be a consequence of when it releases its findings.

“I think it's something that the market's probably not thinking about enough at the moment, but I think that you will see more competition,” he said.

“How did competition manifest itself in the UK? They made it easier for banks to get licences, so you had 14 new challenger bank licences issued in the UK since that inquiry.”

Royal commission branded as run to ‘political agenda’
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Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is a deputy editor at Momentum Media, focusing mainly on banking, wealth management and financial services. He has also written for Public Accountant, Accountants Daily and The CEO Magazine.

You can contact him on [email protected].

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