Commonwealth staff used loose change in the bank or their own money to fraudulently activate children’s bank accounts in order to receive bonuses, Fairfax Media has revealed.
With hearings at the Financial Services Royal Commission set to recommence on Monday, the latest scam at the country’s biggest bank reveals that retail staff seeking to meet performance targets and gain performance bonuses were putting in the money to activate the Youthsaver (Dollarmite) accounts and receive a $1.76 bonus.
The details were uncovered five years ago shortly after the bank’s now CEO Matt Comyn, took charge of the retail side of the business and may have involved more than 5000 accounts.
Fairfax Media’s Adele Ferguson writes that “the scam is part of a broader culture of gaming financial incentives at the bank where staff were caught faking customer referrals to boost performance targets and earn rewards”.
Internal bank emails obtained by Fairfax describe the scam as “somewhat common practice” and “serious misconduct”, but no disciplinary action was taken, with staff warned via email that further action would be taken if it continued.
Comyn told Fairfax he found out about the issue when the email went out in March 2013.
A subsequent review of 150 branches revealed the balance in 5347 Youthsaver accounts was less than $1, but Comyn told Fairfax “it is hard to get to the bottom” of just how many times it occurred, but added that if it happened now, those responsible would have their employment terminated.
He said their was no detriment to customers and argued that the staff “would have been better off, as a financial incentive, keeping the coins themselves”.
You can read more from about it here.
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