Shayne Elliott, who has been the CEO of the ANZ Bank since the start of 2016, started his statement to the parliamentary committee with an apology.
“We have not always met the standards we set for ourselves or that the community rightly expects of us,” he told the House of Representatives economics committee.
“Each time we fall short, we potentially harm a customer or member of the community and for that I apologise.”
The banks were widely criticised last month for only passing on about half the 0.25 percentage point cut in cash rates to 1.5%. The banks instead also increased some rates on deposits.
That prompted prime minister Malcolm Turnbull to start an annual grilling of the big four CEOs via the parliamentary committee.
The banks have also been hit by a series of scandals including giving faulty financial planning advice to customers and restricting payouts for disability insurance claims. as well as allegations of rigging the bank bill swap rate (the Commonwealth Bank is not included in this).
Elliott told the committee it was his responsibility to apologise to customers and fix any problem as quickly as possible and make the changes to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
“Public scrutiny and accountability over what we do and how we behave is a fair part of the process and today is part of that,” he said.
He acknowledged that parliament has examined aspects of the banking industry’s behavior and that this has helped shed light on cases where the ANZ failed some of itscustomers.
“I say this to acknowledge our failings and the role Parliament plays in holding us to account,” he said.
This week all four major bank CEO are appearing before the parliamentary committee.
Ian Narev at the Commonwealth was on Tuesday the first CEO to front the committee where he was accused of heading a bank with a “culture of bad behaviour“.
Andrew Thorburn of the NAB and Westpac’s Brian Hartzer are due to appear tomorrow.