BAYSWATER and Stirling councils will monitor the outcomes of the Royal Commission into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry.
Governor-General Peter Grosgrove established the Commission on December 14 and Commissioner Kenneth Madison Hayne will submit an interim report by September 30, to provide a final report by February 1, 2019.
Both councils unanimously voted for officers toprepare a report on the implications of changing the Investment Policy to move away from financial institutions that have acted inappropriately and below community standards and expectations, at its respective council meetings.
Stirling’s Community and Resources Committee will consider the officer’s report, while Bayswater’s Policy Committee will consider its officers’ report.
According to Bayswater officers, the City did not have funds invested directly in financial institutions that, at the time of writing a report in the meeting agenda, have been found by the Hayne Royal Commission to have acted inappropriately.
Councillor Brent Fleeton, who proposed the motion, said no action would be taken now but it was important to put the inquiry on notice.
“We are simply making a judgement call on what our values are and the wording in the motion talks about inappropriate behaviour,” he said.
“To me, it is seemingly built in culture in a banking system at the moment to make money at all costs and there is no thought of human element in that especially in small business.
“I think it is great for us to put the spotlight on and see if we can get the ball rolling on councils and how much money they hold in reserves across Australia.”
Cr Lorna Clarke said a “cultural change” was needed in financial institutions and the council had an obligation to manage ratepayers’ money well.
“I think there is some opportunity to actually choose, particularly with things like term deposits, banks who are more ethical and actually drive behavioural change through that,” she said.
To make an online submission, visit https://financialservices.royalcommission.gov.au/Public-submissions/Pages/default.aspx.