NAB boss reveals senior execs sacked

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The major banks are under scrutiny as they face questions into questionable banking practices in Canberra.

National Australia Bank CEO Andrew Thorburn appearing at the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Review of the four major banks. Picture: Kym Smith

TWO senior managers at the National Australia Bank have been dismissed for not meeting code-of-conduct obligations, and three others faced disciplinary action.

NAB chief Andrew Thorburn made the revelation during his second appearance before the House of Representatives economics committee in Canberra on Friday.

More than 1100 staff were deemed to have not met the bank code, including five senior managers, in the past year, he said.

And 55 financial planners had left the bank since 2009 for poor conduct.

Mr Thorburn defended the bank by saying it had since introduced clearer and higher standards for staff.

He also defended the bank’s submission to the Parliamentary inquiry into the big four banks, which said banks should not be required to publicly report breaches when they occurred.

The submission argued that being forced to publicly report breaches would be a disincentive to for staff to come forward.

National Australia Bank CEO Andrew Thorburn appearing at the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics. Picture: Kym Smith

National Australia Bank CEO Andrew Thorburn appearing at the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics. Picture: Kym SmithSource:News Corp Australia

Committee chair David Coleman questioned why the bank would object to publicly reporting breaches if it was focused on being more transparent.

Mr Thorburn responded that if there was misconduct “there is a proper and full investigation”.

“I think that’s appropriate for the individuals and to make sure there’s fair and due process.

“If, at the end of that, they haven’t been deemed to have met our standard, they leave the company,” he said.

He separately defended the bank’s chief customer officer after being asked why Andrew Hagger, who was paid $4.1 million in 2015-16, hadn’t been disciplined over the bank’s financial planning products scandal.

National Australia Bank CEO Andrew Thorburn is under fire at the inquiry. Picture: Kym Smith

National Australia Bank CEO Andrew Thorburn is under fire at the inquiry. Picture: Kym SmithSource:News Corp Australia

“I think Mr Hagger has actually led this business well and lifted the standards and actually been part of the reason why I can sit before you today feeling a lot more confident that the processes, the standards and risk management in our wealth business is much higher than ever before,” he said.

Mr Coleman questioned that confidence given the corporate regulator ASIC recently released information about four years and 62,000 cases of customer breaches requiring NAB to repay $35 million.

Mr Thorburn said most of the issues occurred before he came in.

He also said the cases were not the result of misconduct but a “poorly executed” introduction of its Navigator Wrap platform.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull launched the hearings last year after the big four banks failed to pass on the Reserve Bank’s 0.25 per cent rate cut to mortgage holders in full.

CBA chief Ian Narev, ANZ boss Shayne Elliott, Westpac head Brian Hartzer and ABA CEO Steven Munchenberg will front the hearings next week.

Meanwhile, Labor is continuing to push for a royal commission into banking.

— with AAP

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