Bank checks

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - OPINION OURS & YOURS -

EV­ERY­ONE knew the royal com­mis­sion into the banks would be ugly. We were all fa­mil­iar with the sto­ries of bru­tal fore­clo­sures and crash­ing in­sen­si­tiv­ity to the per­sonal hard­ships of farm­ers and bat­tlers.

But no­body ex­pected what we have seen this week: the ex­po­sure of un­eth­i­cal, un­jus­ti­fi­able and pos­si­bly crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity at the heart of these pow­er­ful fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions.

The great shame of this con­duct is not just the se­ri­ously dam­aged rep­u­ta­tions of the banks, but the per­sonal blow to the many thou­sands of de­cent, hard­work­ing, eth­i­cal peo­ple who show up ev­ery day for work in branches and call cen­tres, do­ing their best to solve prob­lems for cus­tomers, to fi­nance dream homes and to fa­cil­i­tate small busi­nesses to get up and run­ning. The banks, and those they em­ploy, are the cor­ner­stones of our econ­omy. We need them to be prof­itable. But most of all, we need them to have in­tegrity, in ev­ery sense of the word.

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