Australian investigation hears evidence on banking misconduct

An enquiry into alleged misconduct within National Australia Bank has uncovered a number of revelations including impersonation of clients and falsification of forms, according to the Guardian.

National Australia Bank (NAB) and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) have been under the spotlight as evidence was being heard by the royal commission.

NAB top executives complained about having their bonuses reduced after employees under their supervision falsified client documents. One executive said the reduction sent the wrong message to NAB leaders.

A former financial adviser with ANZ was said to have recommended a $1.6m luxury marina apartment scheme to his clients, but siphoned off $100,000 when the scheme failed. ANZ did not compensate his clients.

In early 2017, an internal NAB review found 353 staff had falsely witnessed signing of client documents despite not being present at the meetings in which they were signed. The false witness was to support colleagues who had not completed financial forms properly.

NAB executive Andrew Hagger said falsification of documents was ‘common practice’ in NAB working culture, and staff perceived it to be helping clients by speeding up the process.

The commission also heard that Donna McKenna rejected advice from celebrity adviser Sam Henderson, who stars on a TV show. The advice would have cost or $500,000 in superannuation. McKenna claimed that a member of Henderson’s staff had impersonated her on phone calls in order to gather information about her super fund.