Have NAB and Westpac sufficiently progressed RC recommendations?

National Australia Bank (NAB) and Westpac will be scrutinised by a parliamentary committee on the implementation of recommendations of the Hayne Royal Commission and responses to the pandemic.

The hearing would also cover the implications of common ownership and capital concentration on Australia’s economy.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics chair, Tim Wilson, said: “This hearing will be an opportunity for the committee to continue its ongoing review of the banks and their responses to COVID-19 and Hayne Royal Commission.

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“The committee is interested in knowing about the impact of the lockdowns on mortgage and business loan deferrals and ensuring that banks are responding appropriately to the economic distress of their customers.”

Last month, the committee announced it would probe institutional funds, superannuation funds, and banks on Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) ownership but had been met with some criticism by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia which called it an “act of political theatre”.

“Australia’s major banks not only play important roles as large investors and in providing access to capital for other investors, but also face risks from common ownership themselves, should the same investors hold significant shares across the big four,” Wilson said.

“Investigating the impact of common ownership and capital concentration on the banks and how they are responding to the threats posed by these trends will be a central focus of the hearing.”

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