Australia To Invest $390M In Financial Regulation


Australia is including an additional $390 million in its new budget to boost its financial regulation sector, according to Reuters.

Earlier this year, a government-appointed inquiry into greed and malpractice in the financial sector, known as the Royal Commission, led to recommendations on such things as Australia’s corporate regulators being subjected to a new oversight body and remuneration structures being overhauled.

The funds will be used to implement those recommendations, among others, as well as A$400 million in additional funding to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and A$150 million for the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority over the next four years.

“A strong economy requires a strong, accountable financial sector that Australians can trust,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said in a statement.

It was reported that the funds would come from banks and other financial firms, in addition to what they already contribute to the government.

In its report, the Royal Commission also highlighted “unconscionable” conduct by the nation’s largest listed wealth manager, AMP, finding that the firm misappropriated funds for a decade by charging clients without providing advisory services. Commonwealth Bank of Australia also charged some of its client accounts even after customers died, the report stated.

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) was also named in the preliminary findings, with the investigation discovering that the financial institution lacked sufficient controls to ensure advisors were complying with the law. In addition, National Australia Bank advisors engaged in misconduct and illegal activity, including misappropriation of client funds, according to the report.

The Shadow Ministder for Finance Jim Chalmers noted that the Australian government’s delayed response to allegations of misconduct is proof of the government’s lack of understanding about the industry. “They’ve learnt absolutely nothing from all of the scandalous revelations that we’ve heard over the last little while in the Royal Commission,” Chalmers said at the time.