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CBA admits it failed to prevent misconduct

AAP  |  19 Nov 2018Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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The boss of Australia's largest bank admits it has failed to prevent misconduct, and was instead caught up in a cycle of compensating customers without acting to prevent it recurring.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) CEO Matt Comyn says the bank has been unable to prevent misconduct and immediately identify, resolve and remediate misconduct when it occurred.

CBA has been caught end in an escalating cycle of funding remediation, resolution and rectification rather than prevention and simplification of systems and processes, Mr Comyn has told the banking royal commission.

"We seemed to be caught reacting, responding, remediation, in an ever increasing cycle of that without actually truly understanding the root cause, making the appropriate investments to actually prevent issues from recurring," he said on Monday.

Comyn Commonwealth

Matthew Comyn, managing director and CEO, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Mr Comyn said CBA had a culture of not learning from issues of misconduct in the past.
"Ultimately that's why I say we get into a period of ongoing remediation without actually fundamentally understanding the root cause in each of those matters and making demonstrable steps to ensure they don't recur."

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Senior counsel assisting the commission, Rowena Orr QC, said the inquiry's final two-week hearing would focus on why misconduct occurred and what can be done to prevent it in the future.

Ms Orr said many financial services entities have offered public apologies or expressions of regret for conduct examined by the royal commission, accompanied by promises that the entity will do better in the future.

"The purpose of this round of hearings is not to hear further apologies, or expressions of regret," she said.

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