National Australia Bank CEO Andrew Thorburn has told the House of Representatives economics committee he’s not proud of some issues at the bank.
“For bankers, trust is the currency that matters the most,” he said in his opening address to the parliamentary committee.
NAB has paid out a combined $15 million to 750 customers who got bad advice from financial planners at the bank.
“There have been some issues in our industry and at NAB, which we cannot be proud of,” Thorburn said.
“I want to assure our customers, and you, that we are committed to facing into this, so we can be a stronger bank and a stronger profession.”
He fell short of a straight apology to custoemrs.
However, when questioned later by the committee on the absence of an apology, Thorburn said: “I have apologised and do so again.”
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).
Thorburn is the third of the four bank CEOs to front the committee. Westpac’s Brian Hartzer is due before the committee later today.
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