The House of Representatives and the Senate are undertaking numerous inquiries into the sector
In October 2016 the House of Representatives Economic Committee undertook their first inquiry into the four major banks. The CEO's of CBA, ANZ, NAB and Westpac faced questions from the committee on a range of subjects. View a highlights package below.
“Calling bank chief executives to Canberra isn’t an adequate response to the problems of conflicted remuneration, sales targets, management culture, understaffing, offshoring, customer migration, branch closures, job security and a work culture that creates stress for bank staff,” Mr Derrick said.
“This committee doesn’t have the resources or the time to properly drill down into the causes of the current problems which have seen a loss of community confidence and trust in the banking sector,” he said.
“Bank customers are well aware of the culture that treats them as a ‘sales target’ whenever they engage with their bank.”
“And bank employees want to deliver service to their customers instead of being under constant pressure to just sell extra banking products, credit cards and more debt.”
Mr Derrick said the recent scandals involving Wells Fargo Bank in the USA involved some scarily familiar management practices and culture for those familiar with the management approach of the Australian banks. While a royal commission was the best chance for reform of banking culture and to regain support of customers and bank workers, the Parliamentary Committee should take an in-depth look at the banks. A once a year chat with bank bosses is clearly inadequate.
“Customers and employees want a strong and resilient banking sector because that’s good for the community and the Australian economy,” Mr Derrick said.
“But that will take a lot more than this Coalition-dominated committee has on offer.”
“What we need is change that starts at the top and stops the blame shifting to individuals and front-line workers. This was the first response from the Wells Fargo executives after their problems were exposed and it was manifestly unfair and inadequate.”
Finance Sector Union members have submitted more than 200 questions on a range of issues that they think need to be asked of bank chief executives.
“This demonstrates the desire of the banking workforce to see improvements in the industry,” Mr Derrick said.
The Committee will question the 4 CEO's again in March. More information to follow