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Why good people do bad things

Amanda Hooton  |  23 July 2018  |  News

Since the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry began in February this year, Australians have learnt a great many things – almost all of them bad – about our banks and financial institutions.

We've learnt that the banks have been charging us – and plenty of dead Australians, too – fees for no service. That they've watched us lose our life savings because of advice they knew was inappropriate, given by staff they knew were incompetent. They've let their employees fake our signatures, allowed their boards to lie to our regulators, condoned their chairmen altering "independent" legal reports, and refused to make changes that would protect us because doing so would put them at a "commercial disadvantage".

But there's one detail the Royal Commission has not – indeed, cannot – investigate. It's a question about people: those bankers, lawyers and board members who have so obviously felt that the normal rules do not apply to them, who have so neatly managed to ignore the most basic principles of right and wrong, good and bad, decency and immorality.



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