Banking Royal Commission to Invite Victims to Submit Stories

Victims of bad bank behaviour will be called on to share their stories, the financial services royal commission has confirmed.

At the weekend, the peak union body ramped up pressure on the commission, accusing it of “dragging its feet” in calling for public submissions.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions launched its own website to collect individual stories in the absence of an official channel.

The commission has now provided assurance public submissions will be sought.

“The commission has written to a range of entities in the banking, superannuation and financial services sectors as well as consumer advocates and regulatory bodies seeking information about matters raised in the terms of reference,” a spokesperson for the royal commission told ABC News.

“The commission will be inviting submissions from members of the public and has been working for some time to design a form for this purpose.

“The form is intended to assist people to provide detailed information addressing the issues that the royal commission is required to examine under its terms of reference. This will be available shortly on the royal commission website.”

‘Get the job done’

The royal commission is due to deliver an interim report by the end of September and a final report in just over 12 months’ time.

One of the Coalition backbenchers behind the push for the inquiry, Nationals Senator Barry O’Sullivan, has called for it to be given all the resources it needs to do a “proper job”.

Senator O’Sullivan told ABC News the commission needs to “take as much time and as much resources as one needs to get the job done”.

When announcing the inquiry at the end of November, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stressed the royal commission would not be “open-ended”.

“This should not be a commission that runs forever, costing many hundreds of millions of dollars, as would’ve been the case under some of the proposals,” Mr Turnbull said.

But Senator O’Sullivan said he was “a bit agnostic” about the cost.

“I don’t think anyone should dine out on it, but at the same time, whatever time it takes, whatever cost or resources it requires, ought to be given to it to do a proper job,” he said.

“It would not blow wind up the kilt of the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars of impact on ordinary Australians.”

Senator O’Sullivan thinks public submissions are a crucial component of the process.

“Who best served to share the experience or impact of bad cultural behaviour than the person on the other end of the behaviour?” he said.