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Opinion

Banking: Australia demands change

Bloodbath at AMP and the crowdfunding of startup Xinja are signs of new era.

Three weeks ago Australia’s new bank startup Xinja became the first financial institution in Asia Pacific to raise equity through crowdfunding.

The amounts raised were not earth-shattering – just under A$2.5 million from 1,222 investors putting in as little as A$250 a pop – but the commitment seems more significant in light of the turns the Royal Commission has taken in the subsequent weeks.

Euromoney has written before that for the big four banks, the Royal Commission into the banking sector will be enormously damaging to reputation but probably won’t effect dramatic change that wasn’t already under way, and we still think that’s true.

But we didn’t consider AMP, one of Australia’s most powerful wealth management organizations: the rollicking it received from the Commission this week over mis-leading the corporate regulator on the charging of customers for advice (or, as it turns out, for no advice) was so bad that chief executive Craig Meller was ousted by the board this morning.

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Craig Meller is 'personally devastated' by the ticking off AMP has got from the Royal Commission 

Today brought a press release headlined: ‘AMP apologises unreservedly’ and a statement from Meller that he is “personally devastated”; there are the usual board promises for change and renewal.

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