Sunday , August 14 2022

Bank Royal Commission: Former insiders question CBA evidence


Whoever writes the last chapter in the history of the Australian Bank of the Commonwealth finds a lot of rich material in the transcripts of the Royal Commission Hayne, but they should be careful to believe everything they read.

The evidence CBA chairman Catherine Livingstone and director Matt Comyn show that it appears to be the main agitators for a culture change over the past two years.

This version of the event does not correspond to the former seniors who worked with the bank and who talked to Chanticler this week.

They spoke in part to defend their own reputation and partly to defend the reputation of former Director-General Ian Narev.

There is no suggestion that Livingstone and Comyn would be honest in their evidence when questioning Hayne. There are different opinions from those who worked in the CBA.


Those who were appointed at the hearing, such as Narev, former asset manager Annabel Spring, former Chief Financial Officer David Craig (who was named only in title) and former President David Turner have no right to reply.

They are not asked to provide evidence or to request their version of the event.

Years of shocks

There is no doubt that the CBA has gone through more than any other financial services institution over the past two years, including AMP.

British chairman Bank of Australia Catherine Livingstone arrives Tuesday at the Royal Banking Commission in Sydney.

British chairman Bank of Australia Catherine Livingstone arrives Tuesday at the Royal Banking Commission in Sydney.


In total, six directors, three chairmen, 24 non-executive directors and 31 executive board positions have changed since 2016, according to data generated for Chanticleer by an industrial resource. This sample includes AMP, ANZ Banking Group, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank, CBA, National Australia Bank, Suncorp and Westpac Banking Corp.

The CBA keeps the packaging in terms of turnover, with the loss of CEO, chairman, five board members and ten executives. Another is AMP with CEO, chairman, six members of the board of directors and five senior executives.

When she asked what she had done to change CBA culture on Tuesday, Livingstone said, "Well, I think I personally led the recovery of the council, I personally led the recruitment of a new CEO."

This is questioned by the former CBA insider familiar with the advice. This person, who refuses to be named, says that the agitation to remove Narev and the appointment of Comyn did not come from Livingstone.

The evidence presented by CBA chairman Catherine Livingstone and CEO Matt Comyn make them look like they ...

The evidence CBA chairman Catherine Livingstone and director Matt Comyn show that it appears to be the main agitators for a culture change over the past two years.

David Rowe

"When all the big decisions were made, most of them did not charge," the person said.

The interior said Narev's lack of operational experience and his lack of curiosity meant that he delegated responsibility to the operating questions to others. He was also unwilling to expel people who did not participate.

It's hard to test Comyn's damaging claim to Nareva because he does not want to talk.

Comyn said Narev opposed attempts to close a consumer credit insurance product, which was subject to non-execution, and led to $ 10 million being paid for remedial costs.

Comyn also damaged the reputation of spring when he said he also argued against the suspension of consumer credit insurance.

Chanticleer understands that spring is disturbed by what has been said.

Given the chance of defending, she would probably talk about the loss of jobs that CommInsure managed to end at that time. It would also probably argue that the products were manufactured by CommInsure only, and that all of the sales matters were in the retail bank managed by Comyn.

Big decision

Narev was defended on Tuesday by a former CBA Executive Committee member. "He is a very clear person who is trying to do the right thing at the time he juggled with a large complex organization," said a person who did not want to be identified.

"Ian was a great delegate of authority: his attitude was: if I asked you to do something I expect you to do, do not be afraid to invite you and he was always open to you to come up with problems."

A former member of the Executive Committee said the CBA Constitution gave Nareva great power. While the issues were discussed by the Executive Committee, the final decision always rested with Narev.

In addition, the decision affecting the business unit was determined by an interview between Nareva and the head of this business unit.

Knowing how the system works, you realize that the spring period was barely done in the evidence of this week to the Royal Commission.

The Australian Control Team Prudential Regulation Authority has found that the CBA Executive Committee has a culture of satisfaction.

It is said to be lacking responsibility for risk management, lax remuneration practices and weak attitudes in relation to emerging risks.

One of the comments made in the APRA report was: "Excessive confidence stemming from financial success has meant that serious gaps in CBA controls for non-financial risks have been overlooked."

There is a consensus that the CBA Board was ineffective and could not get out of the dangers. This was evident from the Bank's culture survey by a team of three members named APRA, including John Laker, Jillian Broadbent and Graeme Samuel.

The APRA Committee found that the CBA board failed to manage and manage non-financial risks, did not carry out rigorous controls and the management's call, and did not have a comprehensive and detailed report on non-financial risk. It was also said that the board has a key mentality.

Livingstone naturally supported these remarks on Tuesday. She agreed that the board of directors did not show enough rigor and urgency in keeping the accounts, but the Board was not sufficiently satisfied with the management.

Some of Livingstone's most popular proofs related to the time it took for CBA questions. In her case, it took six months. This meant she was not over the questions that come from the various committees she was a member of.

There were no positive comments during Hayne's question about former President David Turner. He did not even have the chance to defend himself.

Tony Boyd

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