Ken Henry leaves behind Australia’s least trusted bank

Via The Australian:

Ken Henry is nothing if not staunch in his self-belief. His friends have often described him as the “great oak” – the stronger the wind blew, the harder he pushed back.

For months since a disastrous appearance before the Hayne banking royal commission last year, Henry was convinced that he had done nothing wrong, that his job was not in doubt and that he could get the bank back on track.

It was arguably his biggest miscalculation in a stellar career. In the end, his strength of mind and intellectual power were not enough to save him from one of the most devastating falls in corporate history.

…Henry is confident that the public mood against banks and big business is changing: “I think the community is at that point now. People understand that’s where jobs come from. They understand that it’s business that collectively decides what cities look like, where towns are located.

Well, he got the last bit right, at Banking Day:

NAB is the major victim of Commissioner Hayne’s final report, with a dramatic increase in distrust among customers, as evidenced by the rapid erosion of its net trust score, tracked by Roy Morgan.

The market research firm has been measuring bank trust and distrust since 2017 and in January, ahead of the release of the Hayne report, conducted a survey, followed by another in February during the week the report was made public.

The research showed that all of Australia’s Big Four banks suffered an increase in distrust and a corresponding erosion of their respective net trust scores, with NAB becoming the most distrusted bank brand in Australia, registering a year-on-year doubling of distrust among customers.

The survey in January had revealed CBA as the bank brand with the lowest level of trust and the highest level of distrust.

“However, in the wake of the Hayne report, NAB skyrocketed into the position as Australia’s least trusted and most distrusted bank brand,” Roy Morgan stated.

Always be careful putting an academic mind in charge of a business. Their careers are built on establishing and defending a position against all comers. They are inherently inflexible, ideological and narrow. A successful business mind should be quick, subtle and adaptable.

Goodbye Ken. The final analysis has to be that your public life did more harm than good.

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