Australia

Banking royal commission receives 10,140 misconduct submissions from the public

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The banking royal commission has received more than 10,000 submissions from members of the public about misconduct by banks.

A royal commission has received 10,140 submissions from the public about misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industries. 

Public submissions about their past experiences with banks and other financial services providers have closed, although the inquiry is still accepting responses to the policy issues outlined in Friday's interim report.

The banking industry dominated the public submissions, accounting for 61 per cent of the documents, updated figures released on Monday show.

Royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne's interim report blamed greed and the pursuit of profit for the widespread misconduct in the financial services sector.

Mr Hayne said the culture and conduct of the banks was driven by and reflected in their remuneration practices that emphasised sales and profit.

"Changing culture in Australian banks may not be easy and may take time," he warned.

"It cannot be assumed that entities will embrace change willingly or immediately.

"It cannot be assumed that entities will make desirable changes at all levels of the organisation."

Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh admitted much more work needed to be done in every bank to move from a selling culture to a service one.

"But every bank is determined to find the problems, to fix them, and to pay back every penny," she said.

Mr Hayne has now shifted his focus from examining past experiences to looking at policy-related issues and what should be done.

He will hold a final public hearing in November, when bank CEOs are expected to give evidence.

The heads of Australia's big four banks - the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, National Australia Bank and Westpac - all pledged to fix the failures highlighted by the commission.

Consumer groups argue there must be appropriate consequences for misconduct to force the financial services industry to comply with the law, along with a regulator with the necessary resources to pursue businesses and individuals who break those laws.

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