If you want to see the yawning chasm between US and Australian corporate regulators, look no further than the contrasting fates of Wells Fargo and the Commonwealth Bank today.
The Commonwealth Bank’s interim results show that the Austrac scandal, greater regulation and heavier macro-prudential controls on lending have had zero negative impact on its profits -- indeed, might have bolstered them. The $375 million estimate from the bank for the cost of the Austrac case, and $200 million in costs for "remediation", is a pin prick. And the government’s new (the legislation was passed today by the Senate) banking executive accountability regime, or BEAR, won’t apply retrospectively. Sure, there's a royal commission lumbering into action (at a decidedly slower pace than the trade union royal commission got up and running -- funny that) but that's limited to a year and the whole thing is designed to minimise the potential reputational damage to the banks.