Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has copped to making the wrong call by delaying the royal commission into Australia’s banking sector, after a week of torrid revelations about the industry – including evidence that some institutions continued to charge clients even after its employees learned they had died.
Speaking in Berlin, Turnbull said, shock horror, that “the government would have had less political grief if it had set up a royal commission two years ago,” and that putting it off was a bad decision “with the benefit of hindsight.”
Other political factions, primarily the Labor Party, called for an investigation into Australia‘s financial services as early as April 2016. But Turnbull defended his tactics by pointing to other reforms recently made in the financial services industry, which he claims may not have been possible during a royal commission.
While Turnbull was not as contrite as some would hope, his comments admit the government’s mistake far more than those from Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer, who essentially refused to tell the ABC they’d mucked up by delaying the inquest.
Speaking on Insiders yesterday, O’Dwyer nearly broke her ankles side-stepping Barrie Cassidy’s question regarding the Coalition’s sluggish response.
— Insiders ABC (@InsidersABC) April 22, 2018
For the record, the royal commission has found evidence that some Aussie banks and financial planners have fudged documents, ignored customers’ living costs while lending them stacks of cash, and upsold insurance to people who flat-out could not afford it. Oh, AMP also copped to fibbing about its actions to regulators, and the bank’s boss Craig Meller has already stepped down.
It’s only April. Expect Turnbull to make more statements about the inquest’s findings in the weeks and months to come.