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24 questions to be answered in Royal Inquiry

- EMBARGOED till 5am May 22

Simplicity, NZ’s fastest growing KiwiSaver scheme, released today a list of questions that it believes should form the basis of a Royal Inquiry into the banking, insurance and finance sector.

Many of these questions are those being been asked by the Royal Commission of Inquiry in Australia, which has exposed significant misconduct. Some questions are from industry executives who have approached Simplicity on a confidential basis.

The questions relate to hundreds of billions of dollars of investment, borrowing and insurance by ordinary New Zealanders

“Much of the wrongdoing in Australia is by the same companies selling similar products over here,” said Sam Stubbs, Managing Director of Simplicity.

“The questions could easily form the framework for a Royal Inquiry, as they all need answering,” he said.

“It took a Royal commission to get the answers in Australia, with Chief Executives under oath, and whistleblowers protected. We need that here too,” said Mr Stubbs.

Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull recently apologised for not calling a Royal Commission earlier in Australia, calling it a ‘mistake’ to delay it.

“None of these questions will be a surprise to industry insiders. Let’s see if the answers will be a surprise to the public,” said Mr Stubbs.

“Every New Zealander has a relationship of trust with their banks, insurance companies and KiwiSaver manager,” said Mr Stubbs. “If trust is to be retained, we need answers,” he said.

“We need a Royal Commission to properly understand why the Australian owned banks here make more out of New Zealanders than Australians, why commission levels are so high, and if products have been mis-sold and mis-priced,”” said Mr Stubbs.

“Only a Royal Commission will be sufficiently resourced to look under the hood of our most profitable industry,” he said. “The cost of a Royal Commission would be less than 1% of the profits the banks will make this year. That’s money well spent,” he said.

The misconduct exposed in the Australian Royal Inquiry is starting to be revealed in New Zealand. Recent revelations in New Zealand include misrepresentations of independent advice and products by two Australian owned banks, $19m of trips for insurance agents meeting sales targets, and pressure for bank tellers to sell inappropriate products to meet sales targets.

See attached file for 24 questions which could for the basis of an inquiry.


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