Here in Australia we are at the tail end of a Royal Commission into our banking and superannuation sector.
Shock, horror, surprise, they were all ripping us off by charging excessive fees, charging fees for nothing, and cost us all thousands by not investing with our best interests at heart.
The penalties? Fines, with possible repayments to customers.
Here’s the thing. They gained billions of dollars and will have to pay back a couple of billion. Net result, billions in their pockets.
Why isn’t there a very simple law? Rip off your customers and you have to repay them double what you charged, and the onus is on the business to locate every affected customer or they pay back triple the amount.
Easy, simple and a deterrent large enough to make them think twice about expanding their bottom line at the expense of integrity.
It can apply to any business, large or small.
If these penalties are considered ‘excessive’ by anyone, please consider the hundreds, maybe thousands of people who lost their homes because of perverted financial advice born from greed.
Imagine having to pay back double the price of a lost home. How many times would this happen before behaviour changed?
Not many, I believe.
Quite simply, make the punishment fit the intention as well as the outcome of the crime.