Australian probe of bank sector misconduct begins with focus on home loans

Postado Março 13, 2018

NAB fired 20 bankers in New South Wales and Victoria a year ago and disciplined 32 others, after the bank's review identified around 2,300 home loans since 2013 that may have been submitted with incomplete or incorrect information. The first report to the board about the incidents was in December 2015, while ASIC was first notified in February 2016, senior NAB executive Anthony John Waldron confirmed under questioning.

Twenty bankers were sacked or resigned and another 32 were reprimanded over the issues connected to the introducer program, where NAB pays commissions to accountants and financial planners for successful lending referrals.

The long-awaited Royal Commission follows years of scandals in Australia's financial sector including poor financial advice, interest-rate rigging, and accusations of breaking money-laundering rules.

Australia's Royal Commission into misconduct of the financial sector began its first public hearing on Tuesday with a focus on residential mortgages, vehicle finance, and credit cards.

The commission also will also examine the wealth management and financial advice industries. "They should not have happened in the first place, and they show that we haven't always done right by our customers or treated the community with respect", he said.

Mortgages are Australian banks' money-spinners, with the big four banks- Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Westpac Banking Corp and NAB - holding about 80 percent of the country's A$1.7 trillion ($1.36 trillion) mortgage market.

The assistant counsellor of the inquiry, Rowena Orr, said that residential mortgages represent about two-thirds of total loans granted by Australian banks. Australia's big banks are among the most profitable in the world, earning profit margins of 36.4 per cent in the June quarter of 2017, according to a paper published by the commission on February 9.