The Australian government has announced that it will soon be conducting a royal commission inquiry into the country’s banking and financial sectors.
The commission is the country’s highest form of public inquiry, and the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, is hopeful that this commission will restore the public’s faith in the sector.
The move comes in light of a number of major financial scandals that have plagued the sector in recent times. These include accusations over financial planning, rate-rigging, and insurance fraud.
Although there was much talk of an inquiry, the opposition was dead set against it. However, the decision was buoyed on by a joint letter signed by the four biggest banks in country, asking the government to conduct the inquiry.
Commenting on the move, the Prime Minister said, “The only way we can give all Australians a greater degree of assurance is a royal commission into misconduct into the financial services industry”.
He added that the decision was “regrettable but necessary” and believed it would help the nation’s economy in the long run. In the past, Turnbull had ruled out an inquiry of the sort under pressure from opposition parties.
However, the letter from the banks pushed the decision in the inquiry’s favor. The letter stated that the banks had reversed their defensive stance on the inquiry and were willing to cooperate with the same.
The letter stated that while the banks had “consistently argued the view that further inquiries into the sector, including a royal commission are unwarranted” it was in the nation’s best interests to move further with the inquiry.
The royal commission is set to cover every Australian financial institution. The commission will run for a period of 12 months and will cost at least $56 million.
The commission is scheduled to publish its findings on February 1, 2019.