Shayne Elliott, chief executive officer of ANZ Bank, says the bank took too long to address misconduct. Picture: Gary Ramage
Shayne Elliott, chief executive officer of ANZ Bank, says the bank took too long to address misconduct. Picture: Gary Ramage

ANZ chief ‘shocked’ by bank’s misconduct

THE chief executive of ANZ says he was "appalled" to learn through the banking royal commission what impact the institution has had on some Australians. Shayne Elliott has made the admission while being grilled by federal politicians at a parliamentary hearing in Canberra, adding he was saddened to read the inquiry's interim report.

"It was embarrassing and shocking," Mr Elliott told the House of Representatives economics committee hearing today.

Mr Elliot said the bank has broken the trust of many of its customers. The chief executive lamented that accountability for misconduct at the bank had been limited and insufficient.

ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott, speaking at the hearings,  says there’s still an enormous amount of work to do.  Picture: Gary Ramage
ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott, speaking at the hearings, says there’s still an enormous amount of work to do. Picture: Gary Ramage

ANZ has made changes to turn this around, he said, with each of its senior executives now aware of exactly what they're liable for.

"There's much greater transparency, but there's still an enormous amount of work to do there," Mr Elliot said.

He said about a handful of ANZ's top brass have been sacked over misconduct in the past year.

"My commitment is to ensure that I do hold people to account." Mr Elliott is the third banking head to be grilled by the MPs this week, after the Commonwealth Bank's Matt Comyn and Westpac's Brian Hartzer fronted the committee on Thursday.


Both acknowledged their institutions took too long to address misconduct that was eventually uncovered by a royal commission.

They also admitted they have their work cut out for them to regain the public's trust.

"From an overall reputation point of view, this is obviously going to take years to restore," Mr Hartzer said.

The hearings come two weeks after banking royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne QC delivered an interim report, blaming greed and the pursuit of profit for the widespread misconduct in the banking and financial services industries. National Australia Bank boss Andrew Thorburn will appear next Friday.

He is the third banking head to be grilled by the MPs this week, after the Commonwealth Bank's Matt Comyn and Westpac's Brian Hartzer fronted the group on Thursday.

Both acknowledged their institutions took too long to address misconduct that was eventually uncovered by a royal commission.

They also admitted they have their work cut out for them to regain the public's trust.

"From an overall reputation point of view, this is obviously going to take years to restore," Mr Hartzer said.

The hearings come two weeks after banking royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne QC delivered an interim report, blaming greed and the pursuit of profit for the widespread misconduct in the banking and financial services industries. National Australia Bank boss Andrew Thorburn will appear next Friday. Economics committee chair and Liberal MP Tim Wilson says the hearings are an important opportunity to scrutinise the chief executives.

He said it's important to ensure the "appalling behaviour" revealed at the royal commission is not repeated, without inhibiting the contribution of the banks to the economy.


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