Australia’s Royal Commission into the banking sector to release interim report Friday

Australia’s Royal Commission into the banking sector to release interim report Friday

Royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne is expected to deliver an interim report on misconduct and poor behaviour by Australia’s financial services

australia banking royal commission

Photo: AAP

Royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne is expected to deliver an interim report on misconduct and poor behaviour by Australia’s financial services to the governor-general today.

The banking royal commission was established by the Liberal government last December to investigate financial misconduct after years of pressure from the public and the opposition Labor and Green parties. So far, the findings have turned up an alleged bribery ring and examples of forgery, poor lending practices and misleading advice.

Today’s report will identify concerns with lending, financial advice, loans to small businesses and indigenous issues. In the short-term, the report is expected to restrict the availability of credit, with Mr Hayne likely to demand that banks more thoroughly verify potential borrowers’ income and living expenses.

In the long-term, the commission’s findings could leave Australia’s banks facing years of expensive litigation, with legal cases already being launched that could cost banks billions of dollars. With today’s interim report to be followed by a final edition next February, expect a bruising six months for Australia’s financial industry.

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