Australian Treasurer wary of new rules on banks hurting economy – reports
02 Oct 2018

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg wants to ensure that any action against banks in the wake of a scathing report on their misconduct does not lead to tighter lending or hurt the economy, he said in a media interview on Monday.

An independent commission last week said banks and wealth managers had pursued profit ahead of their customers’ interests and treated regulatory compliance as a cost rather than a guide to proper conduct, in an interim report following 60 days of hearings.

The commission found instances of bribery, fraud, fee-gouging and board-level deception across the financial sector. Its final recommendations are due in February.

Frydenberg said there was no excusing bad behaviour by the banks and other financial institutions.

“Basic standards of honesty and fairness went out the door as greed became the primary motive and profits were put before people, and sales of these products and services by the financial institutions became their sole focus,” he told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio.

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