More scrutiny for super fund, insurance firm chiefs

Top executives of superannuation funds and life insurance companies could soon face another inquiry that has traditionally put the blowtorch on the chiefs of the four major banks.

The Coalition has asked that the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics to expand its remit to inquire into the broader financial services sector, as well as examine how well financial institutions are implementing the recommendations of the banking Royal Commission.

Financial services associations will also be called upon to appear before the standing committee.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said including other financial services entities will complement the broader inquiry into the four major banks, which the Government announced in 2016 and has conducted at least annually.

Last year, ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott appeared before the House of Representatives, admitting that the bank saw its remediation programs as a "distraction" and at one point took up to 15 years to compensate some customers

Elliot said some customers had to wait 15 years for refunds when the bank's system calculated home loan products incorrectly; he admitted that this was "shameful" and "wrong."

The major banks inquiry provide an opportunity to scrutinise the banks on how they balance the needs of customers, shareholders and the broader community, according to committee chair David Coleman, who was chair between 2016 and 2017.

Frydenberg said the government has asked the inquiry "to commence as soon as possible."

"This inquiry will help provide further transparency to the public on the work financial institutions are undertaking to implement recommendations from the Royal Commission and in doing so will contribute to restoring the community's trust in the sector," he said.

Read more: Royal CommissionJosh FrydenbergANZDavid ColemanShayne Elliott
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