The bank royal commission won't be investigating every alleged misconduct

Rowena Orr, Senior Counsel to the royal commission. Image: Screenshot

The Financial Services Royal Commission says it won’t investigate all misconduct by banks alleged in submissions to the inquiry.

The commissioner, former High Court judge Kenneth Hayne, says he has refused leave to appear to some lawyers representing people who were alleging misconduct.

“The commission won’t have time to investigate every case of alleged misconduct,” he said today when opening hearings.

Submissions to the Financial Services Royal Commission have been about misconduct including falsifying loan documents, poor financial advice, inappropriate lending, and delaying insurance claims.

The royal commission has so far received a 1894 submissions.

The commissioner says the hearings will look at several case studies.

“Submissions made by the public are very important to the work of the commission. All of the submissions that are made through the website are being read and assessed and considered,” says Justice Hayne.

“All of the submissions that are being made through the website will form an important part of the material on which the commission will base its work.”

Today, senior counsel assisting the commission, Rowena Orr, said the first hearings would concentrate on consumer loans including home loans, car loans, credit cards, overdraft and insurance connected to credit.

One of the themes that has emerged from submissions via the commission website is “inappropriate or unsuitable lending”.

The first case study will be the NAB introducer program eventually saw 20 staff dismissed and disciplinary action against 32 others over home loans in NSW and Victoria approved with suspect paperwork.

The big four banks have been preparing for the royal commission since it was announced in November following a long political debate over a series of scandals.

Australia’s major banks face 15 different major inquiries, including the Royal Commission, following a series of scandals involving giving poor financial advice to customers.

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