The recent Parliamentary Committee Hearings into the big four banks may have been considered a ‘damp squib’ by those calling for even greater public accountability but it did force some interesting admissions from the bank bosses.
There was a standard and expected amount of mea culpa and contrition in evidence but one form of words could come back to haunt Ian Narev, the CBA boss. Here’s a transcript of an exchange on the quality of financial advice provided to customers:
Narev is asked by Coleman (Committee Chair Liberal MP David Coleman) about the financial advice scandals.
He acknowledges the bank failed to act with “requisite speed” to protect customers, although only about 10 per cent of the 8000 people whose files were reviewed were found to have been given faulty advice.
Whilst Mr. Narev was being as honest as he could it is hardly reassuring to hear that if you seek advice from the ‘experts’ at CBA there is a 10%, or possibly even higher, chance that you will be put wrong and suffer a financial loss. They don’t advertise for business by saying ‘we get it right, most of the time’.
Again, words really do matter and even with the most thorough preparation (which we are sure CBA undertook) they can come across quite differently to the audience from the intent of the speaker.