ANZ admits “significant failures”

The bank's chief executive apologised for the harm ANZ has caused its customers

ANZ admits “significant failures”



ANZ’s submission to the royal commission shows that the bank has had “significant failures” over the last ten years, said the bank’s chief executive.

Shayne Elliott said in a note to staff last Monday (29 January) that while he believes the bank is now “on the right path”, it needs to do more to make sure it meets its promises and keeps up with changing community standards. 

He apologised for the harm the bank has caused its customers.

“For me, it’s completely unacceptable that we have caused some of our customers financial harm and emotional stress. I’m ultimately accountable for this and once again apologise,” he said.

Elliott issued the note on what he called “an important day for ANZ” as the bank made its initial submission to the royal commission.

The four major banks had until Monday to submit reports to the commission detailing cases of misconduct in their businesses since 2008. They also had to report conduct that can be considered as having failed to meet community standards and expectations, and explain why those cases happened and what they have done to fix them.

Elliott said the direction and weight of the reforms being introduced to the Australian financial services industry underscores how community expectations have changed over the last decade. 

“Time and time again, I heard tough questions about how quick we are to pass on interest rate rises as opposed to reductions, the size of our profits, the amount of money senior executives earn, how hard it can be to switch banks, the unfairness of many fees and charges, how hard it can be for small businesses to get loans, the potential conflicts of interest in the broader finance sector and, importantly, how hard and slow it can be to get a result when things go wrong.”

He said that hearing such questions goes some way to understanding why the community’s trust in the industry has declined. 

“And while there are certainly things we need to apologise for and change, there are also things we need to explain better."

He said ANZ supports these reforms and will continue to work to implement them and other changes during the course of the royal commission and beyond. 

The commission will hold its initial public hearing on 12 February.
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