Older Australians deserve improved financial protections

National Seniors Australia has welcomed the federal government’s commitment to adopt all 76 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry released on Monday.

National Seniors Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said Australians deserved banking, superannuation and financial services they could trust to act honestly and with integrity, but the Royal Commission had shown beyond doubt this had not been happening.

“Older Australians, particularly, are dependent on the savings they’ve accumulated throughout their working lives and the advice they receive from their bankers and financial advisers, to ensure they can retire with some sense of security,” Mr Henschke said.

“Sadly, this hasn’t been the case, when you look at what’s been going on in these sectors over many years. These industries have exploited customers who rightly expected them to act in their best interests. Rather, the banks and others have been acting in their own interests instead of the interests of their customers.”

Mr Henschke said National Seniors supported Commissioner Kenneth Haynes’ recommendations to strengthen the accountability and effectiveness of regulators and simplification of laws governing the banking industry.

“We also welcome his call for remediation for those harmed by misconduct and the government’s commitment to a number of initiatives to provide compensation for successful claims going back 10 years, consistent with the period examined by the Royal Commission.

“The government has said its principal focus is on restoring trust in our financial system and delivering better consumer outcomes, while maintaining the flow of credit and continuing to promote competition.

“They need to deliver on these commitments as soon as possible, as there’s no doubt Australians generally and those exploited by the banking and financial services industries will expect fast and effective action.

“Given the banking industry’s track record in opposing industry reforms, whoever is the government post-election will need to be committed to holding its line.”

For a comprehensive wrap-up of the Royal Commission report and developments since, go to Investment Magazine's website. 

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