NAB management falls apart

What other conclusion can we possibly draw? Yesterday the CEO declared he would take a well-earned holiday:

National Australia Bank chief executive Andrew Thorburn will take extended period of leave from the bank after a bruising year of scandals at the big four lender that ran as deep as his own office, that he described as “the biggest and most relentless” of his career.

A spokesman for the bank confirmed that Mr Thorburn is taking holidays following the annual general meeting this week, and will return to work ahead of the release of the Hayne royal commission‘s final report, which is due on February 1.

“He will then take a month’s long service leave to refresh, recharge and spend time with his family before returning to lead NAB through the next stage of our transformation,” a spokesman said.

In other words, he’ll be away through virtually all of the most important event in modern Australian banking history. Say what?

Now today, at the AFR:

National Australia Bank chairman Ken Henry will try to head off investor fury at today’s annual meeting by scrapping the bank’s controversial executive pay structure.

Up to 90 per cent of investors are expected to vote against the new remuneration arrangements, introduced just three months ago, in what will be a record strike against a blue-chip company.

Dr Henry will tell shareholders at the meeting in Melbourne that the bank’s board got it wrong on executive pay this year and that the new remuneration scheme is not right.

But this is already Dr Henry’s new remuneration structure, already adjusted post-Hanye RC. Chanticleer puts the boot in:

National Australia Bank chairman Ken Henry is a fast learner, judging from his decision to abandon an executive pay structure that is expected to earn a record negative first strike against the bank’s remuneration report at the annual meeting in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Henry is willing to swallow his pride and admit he got it wrong when introducing a new pay plan in September. He is treating the negative vote of more than 80 per cent against the remuneration report seriously, though it is non-binding.

This is a different Henry to the combative and over-confident person who fronted the Hayne royal commission in November. His response to questions put by counsel assisting Rowena Orr gave the impression NAB had not learnt a lot from the conduct issues uncovered in its wealth and banking businesses.

Good one. Ken Henry needs a permanent holiday and NAB needs new management before its share price also disappears to the Bahamas:


    • More like Thermomixes and free holidays. According to the AFR today the corruption inquiry into NAB CEO Andrew Thornton has been extended to Ken Henry – he also got free holidays and air-tickets.

      Dr Henry and his wife accepted a first-class trip to the US in October 2016 that was booked by former chief of staff Rosemary Rogers at the urging of CEO Andrew Thorburn, according to documents released by the Hayne royal commission.

      A spokesman for NAB said the bank acted on whistleblower information. “We continue to co-operate fully with police, who have asked us to provide no further comment on the alleged fraud and the investigation” the spokesman said.

  1. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    Scumbags the lot of them.

    Why am I forced to have a banking relationship with one of these rapacious private tyrannies,…where is my public banking option.!?

    • What is even more pernicious is (some) government departments no longer accept cash payments and the government’s war against cash.

      It’s virtually impossible these days to live without a bank account. It wasn’t the case a few decades ago. It is enforced servitude.

      • Oh – if you are to listen to the standard boogey-man trotted out when you ask that question, the reason is: “because underground economy”

      • I thought it was illegal to not accept government tender? And yet it’s the government doing it? What a country we have become.

    • “where is my public banking option.!?”
      It got privatised along with everything else the government owned in the 80’s and 90’s.

      • No, the government owned.
        That the public has some sort of say is a fairy story told to keep the plebs in line, and the guillotines away.

    • Honest question – do you have an account with one of the Big 4? If yes, and knowing what has been going on, why haven’t you changed to a non-Big 4 alternative?

      My point is also for the wider general public. We all feign shock, but do nothing … supporting and endorsing the system.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        My personal banking is with ME bank,…but they don’t do business accounts so im with one of the big 4 for Ermington plumbing.

      • Try Bendigo Bank for biz Erm. I got better merchant terminal rates with them compared to the big 4, no a/c fees etc and my bank manager actually pops in to my retail store to say Hi occasionally.

    • Ermo, at the risk of getting slammed by the crypto haters and ignoramuses, the bank of the future is NO bank. You’ll use crypto and everything will be decentralised. Local and global payments, savings accounts (called wallets) or deposits (also wallets) and credit (emerging in crypto) will all sit on tokenised blockchains. Banks will simply have no role to play. The cost of the friction (intermediation) in the financial system will completely dissolve and be replaced with a a cost of transacting which is based on the electrical cost of computing power and the amortised cost of the software/coding that drives it. None of that will swallow anywhere near the current FIRE sector’s share of GDP.
      I spent about 4-months in early 2017 (days and long nights) studying up hard on the space. Go into that sphere and you realise how completely transformative it is. Most crypto naysayers focus on its price and hype not its potential. Fair enough but very short sighted. Dig a little deeper and you can clearly see the makings of the 4th ‘industrial’ (technological) revolution.

      • I’m definitely not a hater, but I question the future of crypto for everyday monetary/banking applications. The real world needs centralised banks for provision of credit and lending; crypto is only good of you have enough money that you don’t need to borrow from anyone.

        Huge fan of smart contracts for contractual / record keeping uses though.

      • @Chris, I think payments are simply layer 1.
        Acceptance of crypto is low now. That is fine becuase it value build in direct proportion to its network effect. In currency terms the USD has the highest network effect and of course other currencies, including crypto are a long way behind that.
        Regardless despite the hype and subsequent collapse in price the adoption rates are increasing and the physical size of the networks are expanding rapidly. This is evidence of an increasing network effect and a rise in the fundamental value of cryptos as currency (as separate from hyped, speculative value) .
        Like the initial adoption of the telephone, at the time business people couldn’t imagine a company needing more than 1. Their vision was limited by their immediacy bias.
        Credit in crypto will come. I think a world using crypto credit will look more like a global economy operating on a hard gold standard. Currency is in limited supply due to its requirement to be backed by gold (on a 1:1 basis) or or crypto where money supply is mathematically limited. Savers will advance their crypto savings under a smart contract to be leny out in pools. The saver receives a return of more crypto or some other asset or good.
        I think it is hard to imagine a world which is not operating on a purely fiat basis. Wouldn’t be many alive with a living adult memory of the full gold standard.
        Either way I think it is super exciting times.

  2. What about all those customers who have been short changed and stiffed. Do they get a nice extended holiday to refresh and feel better about things? NO! They will suffer this Christmas thanks to the actions of the banks…

  3. “the biggest and most relentless” of his career

    Weak as piss. Someone needs to remind these jokers that they get paid to handle the scandals. If it’s all a bit too uncomfortable, how about this: don’t be scandalous. Say what you want about Ken, at least he has the pluck to get amongst it.

    • No, that wasn’t pluck on display at the RC, more apt descriptors would be contempt, domineering, arrogance. As in “the customers are revolting, Mr Henry … yes they are”.

  4. ChristopherJMEMBER

    Given how on the nose they are and how much further their share prices are going to fall once the defaults start to accelerate… well, it’s a wonder these clowns are not volunteering their own exit

    • What I want to know is when the fools overseas that are lending them money are going to wake up to the criminal conduct and withdraw their funding or jack up the cost of it.