The Royal Commission on Banking has stirred Australians to the very core of our being.
It has convinced us that TRUST no longer exists in our nation. Our sense of security is severely diminished, particularly among Senior Australians.
This is understandable as, once upon a time, our local bank manager was a highly respected citizen. He was trusted to give solid advice and not give us loans we had no hope of paying back or credit cards we do not really need.
He was also heavily involved in community life in a high profile way.
Then, he disappeared from public view.
Now, it is almost impossible to find a local bank manager even if we go to a bank. We enter an atmosphere where the message is that they don't want us there. We must phone a 'friendly' relationship manager whom we track down after have pressed about a dozen buttons. We get a different person every time we call and she is only interested in our number, not our name.
It's very sad that this grand old asset of Australian life has passed away, a killer culture having replaced it.
The Royal Commission has clearly revealed that the hierarchy of Australian banks has gone bad. They have deliberately instated a culture of deceit, charged for services they don't give and seem to be the sort of guys we would not invite home to dinner.
Having conveyed in my own words the factors about which you are already familiar from watching the evening news, let me pause and affirm that there are some honest bank executives still out there. They just seem to be in the minority and we have to search hard to find them. Let's hope they can rise to the top when the deadwood has been cleaned out.
So, will some good come from the Royal Commission?
Can we rise above the distrust and disgust that it has now become imbedded in our souls?
Before I answer this question, let us be clear in our minds that the problem of dishonesty can be found far beyond the realm of banking. The rotten core that is at the heart of the banking industry is just the tip of the iceberg. The decay in honesty and integrity is evident throughout the entire business world, but banks have been caught first.
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