Most of the major life insurance companies received letters from the Royal Commission into alleged misconduct in Australia's banking, superannuation and financial services industry within four days of the Governor-General signing the necessary Letters Patent.
Money Management has now confirmed that while the Treasurer, Scott Morrison announced the signing of the Letters Patent for the Royal Commission on Monday, 18 December, last year, the major insurers, banks and a number of industry superannuation funds had received letters from the Royal Commission by Friday, 22 December.
The letters were dispatched despite the fact the Commissioner, Kenneth Hayne QC had only just been formally confirmed in the role and despite the fact no announcements had been made then, or subsequently, with regard to the formation of a Royal Commission secretariat.
As late as yesterday, the Royal Commission web site stated: “The Royal Commission is in the early stages of being established.”
Copies of the correspondence sent to superannuation funds, banks and insurers and sighted by Money Management suggest that the Royal Commission managed to issue what amounted to largely a “form letter” with the documents varying to accommodate the types of business being conducted.
Thus, superannuation funds have been asked a series of questions specific to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, particularly the use of member funds, while insurance companies have been asked questions going to their relationships with clients, including superannuation funds.
In all cases, those receiving the correspondence, have been asked to account for their activities over the past 10 years.