The first hearing date has been set for the Royal Commission into the financial services industry.
The initial public hearing will begin at 10am on 12 February, and will be held on Level 6, 11 Exhibition Street, Melbourne.
Royal Commissioner Kenneth Hayne AC QC and the Senior Counsel Assisting will make short opening statements, but no witnesses will be called at the initial hearing.
The hearing will be open to the public. The Royal Commission’s website will also provide a livestream and a transcript of the hearing.
While the commission has invited public submissions, it emphasised that it “cannot resolve individual disputes, fix or award compensation, or make orders requiring a party to a dispute to take or not take any action”.
The Letters Patent authorised the Royal Commissioner to investigate potential misconduct by financial services entities, as well as their conformity with community standards and expectations.
The superannuation industry received a special mention in the Letters Patent, with the commission to investigate “whether the use by financial services entities of superannuation members’ retirement savings, for any purpose, does not meet community standards and expectations or is otherwise not in the best interests of those members”.
The commission will assess whether any instances of misconduct are the result of particular cultural or governance practices in a financial services entity or in the industry more broadly. It will also examine the effectiveness of redress mechanisms for victims of financial services misconduct and the adequacy of existing laws, codes of conduct and internal governance systems.
Commissioner Hayne will submit an interim report no later than 30 September 2018, with the final report due on 1 February 2019.