Axe falls on ANZ staff
The ANZ has fired up to 200 staff for misconduct, including some near the top of the bank, it revealed during a parliamentary grilling into its treatment of customers.
Bank chief executive Shayne Elliott said some people who directly reported to him had been dismissed for letting down customers and the institution.
Before the House of Representative’s economics committee, which is taking to task the chief executives of the big four banks over the interim report from the financial services royal commission, Mr Elliott said he had been embarrassed and appalled by some revelations during the inquiry.
The worst aspects remained around misconduct by staff, with Mr Elliott revealing he had increased penalties for those found to have hurt customers.
There had been “insufficient” action against those directly responsible for problems within the bank.
“In truth, accountability for the misconduct examined by the royal commission has been limited,” Mr Elliott said.
“In the past, ANZ has not focused sufficiently on formally holding executives to account for failures that harm customers.
“If customers are harmed, those responsible can lose their jobs, their pay or their prospects within the company.”
This week the ANZ revealed it would spend $374 million on customer refunds and remediation payments.
Mr Elliott said the bank had probably failed to focus on making remediation to poorly treated customers, a plan he hoped to change.
He has made public his personal email, responding to those who have complaints about the bank and its treatment of them.
Under fire from some members of the committee over the bank’s actions, Mr Elliott conceded the ANZ — like all banks — still had a long way to regain the trust of ordinary Australians.
The committee will hear from the head of the NAB next week.
The commission resumes sittings next month when it will consider policy issues arising from its investigation.
It is due to report back to the Government in February.