Brian Hartzer’s email to Westpac staff: ‘We haven’t got it right’

Westpac Bank CEO Brian Hartzer Photo: Mark Graham/ Bloomberg/ Getty Images.

Brian Hartzer, CEO of Westpac, Australia’s oldest company, today prepared his staff for some uncomfortable evidence about to be given to public hearings of the Royal Commission into financial services.

The first hearings of the royal commission are looking at consumer loans including home loans, car loans, credit cards, overdraft and insurance connected to credit.

In an email to staff, reported by Fairfax Media, Hartzer wrote that staff will hear about instances where Westpac hasn’t got it right for customers.

A Westpac spokesman confirmed the email.

“Some of these examples will be uncomfortable to hear and will no doubt disappoint you, as they have me,” he says.

“They show that over the last decade there have been too many cases where we have not treated customers with the respect they deserve.

“They also show that we have more work to do to make our systems and processes more reliable, to make sure we’re getting it right for our customers every time, and importantly that we learn from the things that go wrong.”

NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn today wrote an open letter, saying: “There have been times in the past where we have not done the right thing for our customers.”

Today the commission is questioning Anthony Waldron, ‎Executive General Manager, Growth Partnerships, ‎National Australia Bank, about home loans.

The royal commission has so far received a 1894 submissions and will be looking at a series of case studies.