Low-cost KiwiSaver provider Simplicity has released a list of questions it believes should form the basis of a Royal Inquiry into the banking, insurance and finance sector.
Managing director Sam Stubbs says that many of these questions have already been asked in Australia and have brought significant misconduct issues to light. Some of the questions have been provided by industry executives who have approached Simplicity on a confidential basis.
“Much of the wrongdoing in Australia is by the same companies selling similar products over here,” says Stubbs.
“It took a Royal Commission to get the answers in Australia with the chief executives under oath, and the whistleblowers protected. We need that here too.”
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently offered an apology for not calling for an inquiry sooner, and said it was a ‘mistake’ to delay something that should have been done years ago.
“Every New Zealander has a relationship of trust with their banks, insurance companies and KiwiSaver manager,” Stubbs continued. “If trust is to be retained, we need answers. We need a Royal Commission to properly understand why the Australian owned banks here make more out of New Zealanders than Australians, why commission levels are so high, and if products have been mis-sold or mis-priced.”
According to Stubbs, only a Royal Commission would have sufficient resources to properly investigate New Zealand’s most profitable industry. Recent revelations in New Zealand include misrepresentations of independent advice and products by two Australian-owned banks, $19m of trips for insurance advisers and pressure for bank tellers to sell inappropriate products to meet sales targets.
“Our regulator and Government want to be seen to be acting in the best interests of New Zealand investors, banking and mortgage customers,” Stubbs continues. “If you see yourself as a responsible custodian of the wellbeing of New Zealand, you’ll want to know about existing issues so that you can correct them. We have a fiduciary responsibility to make sure that the industry is acting in New Zealanders’ best interests.”
Simplicity’s 24 questions can be found on its website.
New Zealand similar enough to Australia to warrant a Royal Commission- Simplicity
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