Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev today opened an analysts briefing on the bank’s annual results with a quick statement saying that the money laundering scandal doesn’t reflect well on him personally.
“The Commonwealth Bank has had a lot of interest in the last few days for not great reasons, for reasons that don’t reflect well on the bank or on me,” he told the analysts.
The bank last week ended up in the Federal Court accused of breaches of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) Act over combined cash deposits of $624.7 million.
“We understand investor interest and analyst interest and public interest in that topic and are committed to be as open as we can be about it,” Narev said.
“I won’t have anything to say specific in my run through of the results but obviously happy to answer any questions that you might have.”
This week the bank’s board of directors axed short term bonuses for Narev and his senior executives.
Catherine Livingstone, chair of the CBA, said today: “The board’s actions reflect the focus we are taking on improving the trust among people, customers, businesses and communities that the Bank exists to serve.”
The actions of senior managers in the money-laundering scandal who run compliance are also under scrutiny. The bank’s board of directors says it is taking a look at “management accountability”, either by action or omission.