New interim CEO of Australia's NAB expects "obsession" with customers
By Paulina Duran
SYDNEY, March 1 (Reuters) - National Australia Bank Ltd's
(NAB) top executives should be obsessed with working
for customers, interim Chief Executive Officer Phil Chronican
said as he promised change at the scandal-hit lender.
Chronican started in his post on Friday following the abrupt
resignation of his predecessor Andrew Thorburn, who was last
month criticised in the final report of a powerful year-long
inquiry into misconduct in the financial sector.
In an internal email seen by Reuters, sent to the bank's 100
most senior executives on Thursday, Chronican said he agreed
with the Royal Commission's finding that NAB was not meeting the
expectations of its key stakeholders.
"We are the bank's most senior leaders: we need to run the
bank – and we need to change it," wrote Chronican, who was a
non-executive director on the NAB board when tapped for the
"We need to bring the same obsession to customer outcomes
that airline companies do to safety."
His first day in the top job coincided with the arrest of a
former supplier who is accused of defrauding NAB of millions of
NAB said it was cooperating with police, with the alleged
fraud involving a former staff member.
"If the alleged fraud is proven, it represents a most
serious breach of trust by a former employee," the bank said in
a statement on its website.
During the Royal Commission, the bank admitted its
subsidiaries wrongly charged fees to thousands of customers
without providing them with services.
In his email to executives, Chronican also said the bank was
focused on ensuring fair compensation to customers for its
"I am focussed on making sure we compensate customers as
quickly as possible; and on fixing the issues that caused the
(Reporting by Paulina Duran; Editing by John Mair and
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