The financial services royal commission and its public hearings captured headlines and public attention for more than the year that it ran.
But now that the dust has settled from it the questions remain: how did it come about, what did it mean and will it actually amount to reform?
Few are perhaps better-equipped to answer those questions than The Australian business reporter Michael Roddan who literally wrote a book, The People Vs. The Banks (which launched in Sydney on Tuesday)on the subject detailing just what it all came to in the end.
“In one sense, it was a very thorough investigation into misconduct in the banking sector that has real repercussions and in another sense, it’s like a show trial,” Roddan told Your Money Live.
“Royal commissions are launched by the government and used as tools to let off steam in the public and they don’t have the powers police have [but] they can make recommendations to the regulators to follow it up,” he explained.
As with other royal commissions, there’s also no guarantee that successive governments will have the required appetite for reform.
“For instance, the royal commission into indigenous deaths in custody made something like 300 recommendations and two decades later only a handful have been implemented,” Roddan said.
“We’ve already seen the government back down from implementing some really simple things like trailing commission for mortgage brokers and it’s unlikely that the Labor party is going to shake-up the superannuation sector because they’re so close to it,” he added.
That all means one thing, Roddan said.
“The recommendations made in the Kenneth Hayne report may never come to fruition.”
Watch the full interview with Michael Roddan above.