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Where to now for the royal commission?

Sky News political reporter Annelise Nielsen reflects on the final hearings.

Aleks Vickovich

Digital Editor, Your Money

The public hearings of the financial services royal commission have come to an end, after 69 long days of testimony that may change the face of Australian banking.

Speaking to Your Money Live, Sky News Australia political reporter Annelise Nielsen said the focus on the “internal decision-making processes” of the financial institutions has led to some of the more shocking revelations.

“It’s not that the misconduct occurred, it’s that the banks were so slow to respond, in some cases taking years to notify ASIC of breaches they were aware of and in the case of AMP, outright lying to the regulator,” she said.

Nielsen reflected on some of the more headline-grabbing moments, such as the collapse of Dover Financial Advisers director Terry McMaster on the stand.

But she also said some of the inquiry’s most damning evidence – including misconduct in regional, rural and Indigenous communities – did not quite receive the attention they deserve.

“There were some really rampant issues in regional areas [and] there was very little public concern,” the reporter said.

Asked by Your Money’s Brooke Corte whether the business of banking has changed forever, Nielsen said it will depend on whether they can find a way to make profits and generate shareholder returns, but do so “responsibly”.

Analysing the high profile casulaties of the inquiry so far, such as AMP CEO Craig Meller and NAB wealth executive Andrew Hagger, she anticipated that other individuals will be affected on the road ahead as criminal prosecutions relating to royal commission evidence potentially develop.

“There undoubtedly will be scalps to come,” she said.

Look back at Your Money’s coverage of the final hearings of the financial services royal commission: www.yourmoney.com.au/royal.

Royal Commissioner Kenneth Hayne is expected to hand down final recommendations in February. 

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