Abuse and misconduct within Australia's banks and financial institutions were driven by a culture of greed, a royal commission revealed. The inquiry heard testimony about corporate fraud, bribery rings at banks, actions to deceive regulators and reckless practices.
Commissioner Kenneth Hayne questioned why such misconduct had taken place and wrote "Too often, the answer seems to be greed - the pursuit of short-term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty." He also criticised what he called the inadequate actions of regulators for the banks and financial firms. "When misconduct was revealed, it either went unpunished or the consequences did not meet the seriousness of what had been done," he said
The royal commission came after a decade of scandalous behaviour in Australia's financial sector, the country's largest industry. The government initially resisted calls for the probe before conceding that a royal commission was a "regrettable but necessary" action.