Treasurer Scott Morrison has slammed the Commonwealth Bank. Picture: Kym Smith
Treasurer Scott Morrison has slammed the Commonwealth Bank. Picture: Kym Smith

‘Made mistakes’: Comm Bank in damage control

THE Commonwealth Bank's chief executive Matt Comyn has gone into damage control, hours after treasurer Scott Morrison called for more executives from the financial company to step down.

Mr Comyn has barely spent three months in the top job at the Commonwealth Bank, but today admitted he'd made errors in his previous role as the head of the CBA's retail banking division.

"I think there's certainly things I would have done differently over that time," Mr Comyn told ABC radio program The World Today.

"I made mistakes. I think there's a number of things that we, as a leadership team and senior executive team, would've done differently."

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) today released a "damning" report about the Commonwealth Bank, which followed an embarrassing money laundering scandal, and uncovered a culture of complacency and a board that failed to provide adequate oversight.

The inquiry found the bank broke anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws more than 50,000 times.

In the wake of the report, Mr Comyn told the bank board he'd be refusing his short-term bonus this year - a move that will cost him $2.2 million.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia chairman Catherine Livingstone with CEO Matt Comyn. Picture: Dean Lewins
Commonwealth Bank of Australia chairman Catherine Livingstone with CEO Matt Comyn. Picture: Dean Lewins

The CEO also said the bank's top 500 executives would be given a printed copy of the 100+ page APRA report.

The 500 executives will now have a week to read and respond to the report and make suggestions as to how the bank can change its culture.

The Commonwealth Bank has also offered APRA an enforceable undertaking which will remain in place until the lender meets all 35 of the regulator's recommendations.

The bank will take on an additional $1 billion in regulatory capital until APRA is satisfied.

When Mr Comyn was asked by ABC radio if he thought the bank was getting off easily, he said "definitely not".

Earlier today, Treasurer Scott Morrison said he was expecting more senior heads to roll at the Commonwealth Bank after former CEO Ian Narev stepped down in April.

Referring to the APRA report in a press conference today, Mr Morrison described it as "very damning".

"It found there was a complacent culture, dismissive of regulators, an ineffective board that lacked zeal and failed to provide oversight.

"While CBA is a sound financial institution ... that rap sheet that I've just read out from APRA is very damning.

"The report, I think, is required reading not only for every financial institution in this country but, frankly, it should be the next item on the agenda of every single board meeting in this country regardless of whether you're a bank or not.

"It goes to the heart of what responsibilities of board directors are."

Treasurer Scott Morrison slammed the Commonwealth Bank. Picture: Kym Smith
Treasurer Scott Morrison slammed the Commonwealth Bank. Picture: Kym Smith

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