The royal commission has challenged NAB’s claims it was open and transparent in its interactions with the corporate regulator during a heated hearing in Melbourne yesterday.
NAB chief customer officer Andrew Hagger fronted the commission to answer questions as to why the bank had failed to provide updated figures for its remediation plans despite having completed its own internal review.
Counsel assisting Michael Hodge asked why NAB had waited until after the release of an ASIC report on bank remediation to provide an updated estimation of the remediation to be paid, noting the updated figure of $34 million was approximately three times larger than the number initially provided to ASIC.
Mr Hagger said the bank was unwilling to commit to the updated number until after the board of its trustee, National Wealth Management Services Limited (NWMSL), had approved the payment of this money.
Commissioner Kenneth Hayne, however, challenged Mr Hagger, noting the board had already agreed to full compensation of clients affected by three separate inappropriate fee issues.
“On what possible basis – what possible basis – would the trustee say, ‘No, pay less’?” Mr Hayne asked.
Mr Hagger said there were two remediation processes available to the bank and it would have been inappropriate to act without the approval of the board.
“Commissioner, I’m just pointing out there were two options in front of the trustee board, and I respect the trustee board. I respect its independence,” he said.
“And so it was meeting on the Wednesday, and then – and then, meanwhile, ASIC was in a position of knowing the board meetings were happening during the week, and that if they wanted to know more, to please let me know.”
Stay up-to-date with all the latest from the royal commission’s superannuation hearings with ifa sister title InvestorDaily’s live blog here.
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