Brian Hartzer opened his statement to the parliamentary committee grilling the big four bank CEOs with an apology.
“Westpac isn’t perfect,” he told the House of Representatives economics committee. “In recent years we’ve had operational errors and we apologise for those.
“We’ve made some difficult decisions on pricing, and at times haven’t done a good job at communicating why we’ve made those decisions. We are working hard to improve.”
The banks are being questioned over a series of scandals including giving faulty financial planning advice to customers, restricting payouts for disability insurance claims and allegations of rigging the bank bill swap rate.
However, the final spark for the parliamentary questioning came when the banks didn’t pass on in full to home loan customers the latest cut to official interest rates.
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.