NAB false witness issues not staff’s fault: FSU

The Finance Sector Union has called on NAB to stop pushing away the blame for certain financial advice compliance failures, saying some of the employees were only following instructions.

In a statement yesterday, FSU said it has sent a letter to NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn outlining its concerns around “the hundreds of NAB financial planning employees caught up in the bank’s investigation into compliance issues”.

Last month, ifa reported NAB Financial Planning had launched a review of client Beneficiary Nomination Forms after it found several instances of false witness signatures.

FSU has now urged NAB to take responsibility for the issues, since some employees were only following their training and what was considered normal practice.

“They deserve to be treated fairly and not to have these issues reported under the ABA’s new industry compliance breach policy,” said FSU national secretary Julia Angrisano.

Ms Angrisano claimed that the bank’s policies on witnessing had never been identified as a problem in quality checks. She also claimed that there was no process, procedure or licensing standard at NAB to give employees any indication that this practice was a problem.

“We think it’s time for the NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn to step in and take responsibility for the systemic and cultural issues around the witnessing of documents at the bank,” she said.

Last month, NAB said while there is no evidence of ill-intent, the practice of false witness is “clearly wrong and is not acceptable”.

The bank has also asked staff to report any instances when this may have happened, and advisers will have non-compliance consequences applied.

Those who do not self-report, and are later found to have not followed the correct processes, will face a review of their employment, NAB said.

 

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