Australia and New Zealand Banking Group announced Friday (October 12) that it fired more than 200 employees for engaging in misconduct, reported Reuters, citing ANZ Chief Executive Shayne Elliott.
According to a report in Reuters, Elliott, in his first public comments after a critical report on the bank from Parliament’s House Economics Committee, said the lender is taking steps to be tougher when it comes to punishing bad conduct within its ranks. “We should dismiss people when they are grossly negligent or when they do things that are clearly bad and cause customer harm,” Elliott told Parliament’s House Economics Committee, according to Reuters. “My commitment is to make sure that I do hold people to account.” Elliott said that during the past year ten ANZ senior executives have been let go because of misconduct. This comes as a report published in September found all four of the big Australian banks have charged customers for services they never received and were taking fees from deceased clients’ accounts.
Elliott said he took responsibility for the misconduct that has happened since he became the leader of the bank in 2016 and that he was “appalled” by the findings in the report. “It was pretty saddening to read the report. It made me feel embarrassed for the industry,” said Elliott, who also chairs the lobby group, the Australian Bankers’ Association, reported Reuters. “Seeing the impact that we’ve had on individual customers ... was embarrassing and shocking.” The executive said he ordered a review of how clients at the bank have been treated, saying ANZ has broken the trust of a lot of its customers.
Earlier in the week, ANZ said its profit will take an A$711 million ($506.59 million) hit in part because of the costs associated with compensating customers who were hurt by the bank’s practices. It is due to report full-year results on October 31, noted Reuters. Other banks and wealth managers in the country are putting aside cash to contend with the misconduct, noted the report.