Axe falls on ANZ staff

The West Australian - - NEWS - Shane Wright Eco­nom­ics Ed­i­tor

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.

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