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Where the accountability problems started at CBA

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14.09.2017

The heads or deputy heads of the three main banking regulators (the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Reserve Bank of Australia) spoke at the annual regulators’ lunch last week. Guy Debelle, who is relatively new to his role as deputy governor at the RBA, summarised the feelings of the regulators at the lunch in regards to the public’s lack of trust in banks:

No one feels that anything particularly has changed, because even if the issue occurred a few years ago, it still generates the headlines today, and just reinforces the belief [that the banks cannot be trusted].

Unfortunately that’s because these problems were never actually resolved at the time, with regulators being palmed off with internal inquiries, until the scandal went off the front page. Of course the problems that have occurred recently at banks, especially CBA, are going to be dredged up again and again, because customers (unlike regulators) really suffered and no one was ever held to account.

On the same day, APRA chairman Wayne Byers also announced the makeup of the inquiry panel to which it has outsourced its job. The agency also released the terms of reference that will govern the conduct of the inquiry over the next six months.

Way way down the list of things to do is assessing the CBA’s “accountability framework” and whether it conflicts with “sound risk management and compliance outcomes”.

Note the terms of reference do not discuss “accountability”, per........

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