FBAA appeals for improved ABA impartiality

by Madison Utley27 Sep 2019

FBAA managing director Peter White has called on the Australian Banking Association (ABA) to appoint an independent chair to head the effort to restore both the public and industry’s trust in the banking sector.

His urging followed the news that CBA CEO Matt Comyn is taking the chair, replacing ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott.

“It’s time to overhaul the big four banks’ rotation system of the chair,” said White.

“The royal commission exposed the dishonesty, gross breaches of trust and lack of transparency by the banks.”

According to White, Comyn being named for the role is particularly frustrating given his involvement in the royal commission proceedings.

“It was the CBA that was found to be covertly planning to remove broker commissions. Then, they threw brokers under the bus at the royal commission by promoting the Netherlands model without giving a full explanation of the devastating impact it had on borrowers,” he said.

Further, CBA pulled certain products from the broker channel while still making them accessible to borrowers through their branches.

“The big banks have not only lost consumer confidence but broker confidence, and the sector now requires greater governance through independent, non-conflicted eyes,” said White.

“The royal commission unsuccessfully attempted to make finance brokers the scapegoat while giving banks a stern talking to. Effectively, [it did] nothing to change the system, and the banks are laughing.”

White affirmed that the broking industry desires a good relationship with all banks, “but goodwill has to go two ways.”

“Appointing an independent chair of the ABA is a step in the right direction if the banking industry wants to restore confidence and trust,” White concluded.