Mistakes happen, but it’s how you fix those mistakes that matters. And in the wake of the banking royal commission, and new investigations from the corporate regulator, National Australia Bank’s biggest mistake was not fixing theirs.
National Australia Bank’s CEO has apologised to customers over the fees-for-no-service scandal, but denies the bank has committed any crimes.
The corporate regulator is investigating ‘suspected offending’ by NAB as part of wider fees-for-no-service issues across the financial services industry, documents before the banking royal commission reveal.
NAB has admitted charging more than 4000 dead superannuation customers $3 million in fees while its super trustee NULIS is paying $120 million to compensate hundreds of thousands of customers over a separate plan service fee issue.
NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn sent an email to all staff on Thursday about the royal commission revelations.
‘We do not believe that we have committed any criminal acts,’ it said.
Mr Thorburn also took to Twitter to apologise for failing customers.
‘This week, once again, we’ve been confronted in the royal commission where we’ve let you down, and I’m sorry for that,’ he said in a video message linked to the tweet.
‘When we make a mistake, we find it and we fix it, and if necessary we compensate you.
‘The mistake we’ve made in this case is that we haven’t done that.’
In the royal commission documents, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission accused the bank of failing to report significant breaches of its licence on time on 110 occasions.
Failing to comply with breach reporting requirements is a criminal offence, although the regulator can take a range of administrative, civil and criminal actions.
In the documents, ASIC also said it was concerned NAB contravened sections of the Corporations Act and ASIC Act — some of which may carry criminal as well as civil penalties — over the issue of fees wrongly charged to superannuation members.
While the two NAB witnesses scheduled to appear before the inquiry have finished their testimony, barristers assisting the commission may yet decide to call further evidence.
Wealth manager IOOF’s managing director, Christopher, Kelaher is scheduled to appear on Friday.
The inquiry on Monday heard AMP, the Commonwealth Bank and IOOF have acknowledged fees-for-no-service conduct that counsel assisting the commission believe must have affected the trustees of the superannuation funds within their respective retail groups.
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The Australian Tribune with AAP