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CBA defends 'slow' scandal response

Ahead of the release of the CBA's results next month, chief executive Ian Narev says he is “proud” of the bank’s response to the scandal in its financial advice division, despite criticism of delays in addressing customer claims.

Speaking at an event in Sydney earlier this week, Mr Narev defended himself after being questioned about the length of time it was taking to address claims from customers who were victims of poor financial advice.

"We are actually proud of the way we're now responding through the Open Advice Review program,” he said.

Despite this, Mr Narev conceded that the compensation process was “slow”.

"You've got to accept in the short term you'll wear some criticism for appearing slow, but in the long term you make sure you're putting things right,” he said.

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"What we weren't doing a good enough job [with was] listening to those voices saying, 'actually, the experience we had wasn't the right experience and we have more to tell you'.”

Registrations for the Commonwealth Bank's Open Advice Review program closed at the beginning of July but some applicants may not see their claims assessed until the end of 2016.

It has been a year since Mr Narev opened the scheme, which aims to compensate victims who lost money via the bank's financial planning arm.

Since then, more than 22,000 customers have expressed an interest, with around 7,000 confirming they would like their financial advice reviewed.

However, a CBA spokesperson said at the time of closure that customers may not see their claims resolved this year.

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"We expect it will take all of this year and most of 2016 to complete the assessments," the spokesperson said.

With its results due in three weeks, Mr Narev added that the bank remains focused on its long-term objectives.

“We keep our eyes on the long term – that’s the objective function, that’s what we’re aiming towards," he said.

Mr Narev said it is not CBA’s aim to surprise investors with unanticipated outperformance, but to show consistency.

“We say to ourselves that our goal as an institution is to be successful for our customers and our stakeholders for the long term," he said.

“We do our best to make sure that every time we get to an update on how we’re going for the long term, we’ve done well enough to show consistency, that we’re accountable for what we said we’re going to do and we’re keeping investors’ confidence."

CBA defends 'slow' scandal response
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