ASIC told to consider licence pull
A banking expert says ASIC should be willing to cancel the operating licences of big banks.
Fallout from the banking royal commission has already hit at least one firm, with financial planning group Dover Financial Advisers pulling the pin on its advice services after the corporate watchdog announced it would remove Dover’s licence.
Meanwhile, the big four banks and AMP have had many of their own unscrupulous behaviours exposed, but not faced similar consequences.
“I see no reason ASIC should differentiate between large and small players,” banking analyst Brett Le Mesurier told reporters this week.
“If companies or their related planners transgress, then they should all be treated the same way.”
The royal commission has already heard that Commonwealth Bank is on the top of the pile when it comes to charging fees for no service.
“If a large company lost a financial services licence for the behaviour over one of these, then the behaviour for the rest of the companies in the sector would be, for the next generation or two, would be fixed,” Mr le Mesurier said.
He said the system would easily cope with the loss of a big player like AMP, but warned that ASIC would have to be careful if it went after the Commonwealth Bank.
“If Commonwealth Bank lost its banking licence, it would have a very significant impact, because obviously it funds much of the Australian community, both home and business loans, and it's also a substantial deposit gatherer,” Mr Le Mesurier said.
“But if the loss of licence purely related to the financial planning network, well, there's many other homes for those financial planners to go to.”