In 2009, when the collapse of the banking and financial system is close, after years of financial exuberance and profit to unreason, the statements to the punch of a deep renovation of the sector are linked together as the profits in millions distributed to traders before the storm.
To appease appalled populations of the magnitude of the drama, economic leaders and politicians multiply reassuring statements. "There is a real change in our understanding of the market economy," says Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz. "There is no more tax haven," even dared to dream of a good president Nicolas Sarkozy …
Today, despite a massive bailout to save the sector and a risk billed mainly to the States and taxpayers, the securitization is off again, the banks are still sitting on mountains of debt, growth still uncertain in some developed countries such as France and the long-awaited moralisation leave one wondering.
But unlike many powers, Australia has decided to take over the abuses of the lucrative local banking sector and its "Big Four" -the Commonwealth Bank, NAB, ANZ and Westpac- abuses that caused the subprime crisis and its global explosion.
What abuses have been identified?
Yet won the cause of the very liberal banking sector, the Australian Conservative government must launch in 2017 a national commission of inquiry to respond to numerous complaints from consumers.
What are the excesses highlighted? From frauds to mortgages and life insurance or guidance to their clients for the sole purpose of gaining more profit. Cases of charges levied to customers who have been dead for ten years or employees who accept cash envelopes to validate impaired loans have been uncovered.
The big banks are heavily criticized, especially NAB President Ken Henry and CEO Andrew Thorburn, who were accused of failing to recognize the bad practices in their institutions.
"This report paints a scathing picture of greed-driven practices and behaviors in violation of existing laws," even the government's Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.
"Saying sorry and promising not to do it again did not prevent recidivism," the chairman of the commission, former High Court Judge Kenneth Hayne, warned before calling for a profound change. "Financial services are too important for the nation's economy to allow what has happened in the past to continue or restart."
What measures to change the sector?
Mr. Haynes did not even go so far as to sue the regulators directly, relying on the fact that the regulators had not been up to the task either. Result of the races, a report of 500 pages in which we find 76 recommendations to reform in depth a system made sick by its greed.
Some aim to ban unfair commercial practices for the misinformed customer such as soliciting for retirement or insurance products. An authority will be created to punish corrupt financial advisers.
Real estate brokerage will also be totally reversed: while today, the customer pays for a service that acts more in the interests of banks, tomorrow, it will be the lender to pay for this service and act in the interest of the borrower.
Another measure is the prohibition of consulting fees deducted from retirement savings accounts or the public display of the remuneration of major bosses of major banks. 24 people and society will also be received by the financial regulatory authorities and could then be prosecuted according to the extent of the evils brought to light.
As a symbol, after the presentation of these measures, the president of the Australian Banking Association, Anna Bligh, made an "apology for the damage done" and "accept full responsibility for these breaches". Before launching, as a reminder to the past decade: "Do not judge banks on their words but on their deeds."