Executives at Australian banks face potential criminal charges following the release of the Banking Royal Commission’s final report

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The Australian Banking Royal Commission released its final report into misconduct in the financial services industry. The report blames both greed and a lack of regulation as the causes of the misconduct; 24 financial institutions and individuals were referred to regulators for further potential action. National Australia Bank (NAB) was subject of heavy criticism, with the head of the commission, Kenneth Hayne, criticising NAB’s Chairman and CEO for how they responded to the scandals, which included charging customers fees of A$100 million for no services provided. Hayne stated that charging fees for no service could be a breach of criminal law. The report also blames regulators for failing to hold banks accountable for their misconduct. One of the commission’s 76 recommendations is the creation of a new regulator charged with overseeing both the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Asic) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra).

Financial Times, Jamie Smyth, February 4, 2019