Greed Is Not Good – Banking Royal Commission


Greed Is Not Good – Banking Royal Commission

Following the findings of the recent Australian Royal Commission into misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, I am struck by the demonic pursuits of profits at all costs.

Lives have been ruined as the banking sector sold inappropriate products, took farms from families, and took advantage of consumers so that the sales agents can meet their bonus targets and the banks can boast bigger profits.

In late January 2019 in America, the shining new Democrat, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said:

“A system that allows billionaires to exist alongside extreme poverty is immoral.”

In this case, the Australian banks are the billionaires.

Often in business, the reflex action is to chase profits, which makes good business sense – up to a point.

But when is enough, enough? How many yachts do you need to be happy? I appreciate the banks are trying to appease their shareholders but when society suffers then something is wrong. They need to redefine their mission.

As a business owner, it is important to consider what does success mean for you?

Hopefully, it’s not simply about the money, because you will need a bigger reason to sustain you through the highs and lows.

After all, money is only useful to buy you things or experiences. When you focus on the money, you might be missing out on what you really want.

Is success holidays? Is it having time to sleep in on the weekend with a good book? Is it sharing special moments with your partner at an amazing restaurant? Is it having time to take the kids to sport and be present as you watch them play or is it creating a legacy for your children or for others?

Having clarity about what really matters to you professionally, personally or spiritually will help you chart a course that will not only enrich you but also those around you.

The banking Royal Commission has revealed many problems not just with our banking sector but also with the political sector.

At present, our democratic form of government here in Australia is up for disruption. The community can see the corruption that lies just barely below the surface on both major parties. The current government for years rejected the calls for this limited Royal Commission that was finally held into the banking sector.

The community can see how the big donors to the politicians are protected from scrutiny and allowed to take what they want from the community; be it water, mining rights, land, multi-hundred-million-dollar grants. The sorry list goes on.

It makes sense to me that independent politicians are seizing power. They are not backed by hundreds of thousands of dollars of donations/bribes.

The obvious protection of the banking institutions and other large industries does not sit well with the community. I don’t understand why we can’t pay our nurses or teachers more money, but we need to spend $2 Billion on updating a sports stadium.

It will be interesting to see in the upcoming election period how the community will respond to this culture of greed both within the banking industry and the political parties.

Okay, so I’ve rambled a bit in this article but in a nutshell, yes, pursue profits ‘for a purpose’ that enriches not just you but also the community, but know when enough is enough. And don’t be like the banks.

Rant over!

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  • Bronwyn Reid

    Geoff there is so much to be said about this report, and a lot of the commentary we are hearing in the media this week just isn’t hitting the mark. In fact, a decent dose of it is downright wrong – or at the very least misguided. But the bottom line, is, as you point out, that an unhealthy appetite for profits by stakeholders (read institutional shareholders) led to illegal behaviour. This behaviour will probably go unpunished. Then we can start on the unethical behaviour …

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