In the storm unfolding from yesterday’s release of the royal commission report, the chief executive of NAB is promising to lead the bank’s response ‘personally and visibly’ after being so heavily scathed, according to the Australian Associated Press.
Andrew Thorburn has said the report was ‘very hard to read’ as it did not reflect who he believed himself to be, and how he had been driving change inside the bank. Both he and his chairman Ken Henry were named and shamed in the 954-page report.
Still proud to be a banker
Now, he has placed himself at the forefront, committing himself alongside their 30,000 employees to better the company and benefit their customers, despite his own personal commitments.
‘I have cancelled my planned long-service leave aside from a personal family commitment next week,’ he said in a statement on Tuesday.
He had been planning to take another month of extended leave on top of his month taken over the summer break.
Mr Thorburn says he is still ‘proud to be a banker’.
Meanwhile, Dr Henry has been unwilling to accept criticism for how he and the board dealt with the matter of charging fees for no service and is dismissing the suggestions.
‘I am disappointed that the commissioner formed this view. I know that is not so,’ Henry said.
‘The board and I have reflected deeply on those and other issues and, as I have said previously, we take them very seriously.’
A mistake they say they take seriously, despite the fact it collectively cost NAB users $100 million in unnecessary fees without providing any accompanying services.
ABA to the rescue
AAP reports that the Australian Banking Association has also leapt to the defence of the NAB bosses. ABA head Anna Bligh has dismissed the recommendations, saying the commissioner formed his opinion based on only one session of evidence in a hearing last year. Bligh told the Nine Network:
‘All I can say is that I have seen both of these men on a number of occasions at meetings in rooms where they have had to put their hand up for reform and change and they have always been adopters and promoters of change, not resisters.’
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