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Customer Owned Banking puts people before profits


The Interim Report of the Financial Services Royal Commission shows the importance of putting people before profit.

“People before profit is our sector’s business model,” said COBA CEO Michael Lawrence.

“The Royal Commission says the conduct it has identified that has brought public condemnation is too often because of greed – the pursuit of short term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty.

“Australian consumers deserve a lot better than this.

“The Royal Commission says all the conduct criticised in its report is conduct that provided a financial benefit to the individuals and entities concerned. It says the culture and conduct of the banks was driven by, and was reflected in, their remuneration practices and policies.

“Mutual banks, credit unions and building societies have always existed to put people before profits. We are profit-making but not profit-maximising. We are not trying to squeeze our customers to please shareholders. We are not perfect but we are not conflicted about who we are working for.

“The Royal Commission says good culture and proper governance cannot be implemented by passing a law.

“We note the Royal Commission’s finding that breaches of existing laws are not prevented by passing some new law and that new layers of law and regulation add to compliance costs and complexity.

“The Royal Commission also finds that regulatory complexity imposes burdens on business and that the largest entities, being very sophisticated and well-resourced, are well able to find out what the law requires of them.

“COBA looks forward to consulting its members about the many questions posed in the Interim Report for regulatory policy responses to improve conduct in banking.”

For more information please contact:
Sally MacKenzie, Director - Engagement and Stakeholder Relations
02 8035 8450 or 0412 721 663, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Customer Owned Banking Association is the industry body for mutual banks, credit unions and building societies. See customerownedbanking.asn.au

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