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NAB outlines progress made on culture

The big four bank believes that it has made substantial progress on turning its culture around in the wake of the banking royal commission, but the prudential regulator will have the final say.

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>In its second progress report since the major bank committed to improve its governance, accountability and culture practices, NAB has revealed that it has completed 16 of its 26 governance and culture actions – which include strengthening accountability and “bringing the voice of the customer into the bank” – in its ongoing self-assessment program, with another five planned for completion by the first half of 2021.

The actions form part of the bank’s work to improve its culture after a self-assessment was undertaken in 2018 at the request of APRA, and which was a key theme of the banking royal commission.

“We remain acutely aware of the findings of NAB’s self-assessment and outcomes of the royal commission two years ago, and we are intent on ensuring the lessons learned remain front of mind,” said NAB chairman Phil Chronican.

“The board is committed to ensuring NAB operates with greater rigour and discipline. The board expects and seeks evidence of continued improvement across culture governance and accountability and the way we support our customers.”


A stronger non-financial risk culture is now “evident” across NAB, and the program has delivered “increased operational resilience” and a “greater willingness for (NAB’s) people to speak up”. Board and senior management are also now more focused on customer outcomes.

“We are seeing a stronger determination to get the basics right, across the entire bank, under the leadership of Ross McEwan and his executive team,” Mr Chronican said.

“We have a clear articulation of the culture we need to create, and improved measurement to check on progress.”


NAB has also substantially sped up its remediation processes, paying out some $469 million to 328,000 customers compared with $247 million to 473,000 customers between 2018 and 2019. The remediation team now stands at more than 1,200 people, while the number and severity of items reportable to the regulators has fallen.

NAB commenced its self-assessment in June 2018 at the request of APRA. The prudential regulator will have to review supporting information provided to it before it can confirm that the issues “have been addressed to its satisfaction”.

[Related: NAB reports 47% fall in profit]

NAB outlines progress made on culture
NAB outlines progress made on culture
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