CBA’s head blames greed for bank’s failures

Commonwealth chief executive Matt Comyn admitted greed played a part in the failures of the Australian bank, following an announcement that CBA has spent A$850m on customer remediation.

“I don’t think we went far enough in terms of removing things like conflicted remuneration. When we consider how that occurred, I think at times we focused on things like adviser viability, because the structural reform of any business, including the financial advice industry, is a complex one,” Matt Comyn, the new head of the CBA, told a parliamentary committee, local specialised media outlet IFA reports.

The financial services royal commission has labelled the actions of the major four banks — including charging for services not provided — as dishonest and the result of greed.

Before his appearance before the committee, CBA announced plans to improve outcomes for wealth management customers by rebating grandfathered commissioners for CFP customers.

This rebate will benefit around 50,000 customer accounts by approximately A$20m annually.

“As the royal commission has shown there have unfortunately been failures of judgement, failures of process, failures of leadership and in some instances greed.

“We have been too slow to identify problems, too slow to fix underlying issues and too slow to put things right for customers.

“We became complacent,” he added.

The bank has also revealed plans to review any advice fees charged to deceased estates across all its advice licensees and refunding with interest any instances where unauthorised fees have been charged.

The new initiatives are the latest changes the bank has made after spending A$580m over the past six years to improve its advice business.

Commonwealth Bank has also spent about A$270m in compensation to customers who were provided with poor quality advice or charged fees for no service.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pedro Gonçalves
Pedro Gonçalves is Financial Correspondent at International Investment.

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