Time for NAB to Do the Right Thing By Staff
In mid-2017 NAB advised the FSU that hundreds of Planners and Administrative staff were incorrectly witnessing Beneficiary Nomination Forms.
FSU argued that this was a systemic issue caused by poor culture and leadership. Despite thousands of instances of the error, Tim Steele, GM NAB FP disagreed, and insisted it was an individual staff issue because the form was clear and that Planners and Administrative staff should have known better.
Contrary to what NAB told staff and the FSU in mid-2017 when the story broke, Andrew Hagger, Chief People Officer and NAB Executive Leadership Team member, told the Royal Commission that he had advised the NAB Board Risk Committee that the matter was a cultural issue. Mr Hagger also agreed with Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission that:
“senior leaders are accountable for setting the tone and culture in an organisation”.
Despite this admission, the responsibility for the cultural failure appears to remain almost exclusively on employees.
One Rule for Executives Another for the Workers
Two of the NAB executives who oversaw this failure of culture and leadership received significantly smaller penalties than individual workers. Mr Hagger received a mere 5% cut to his bonus, reducing it to $960,000. Mr Steele, GM NAB FP got a slightly stiffer penalty with a 10% cut to his bonus payment..
Planners were slugged with a 25% cut to their bonus payments.
Neither Mr Hagger nor Mr Steele will incur an adverse comment under the ABA Reference Checking and Information Sharing Protocol if they apply for employment elsewhere but Advisors aren’t so lucky. An adverse comment will be provided to prospective employers with potentially career limiting consequences under the ABA Reference Checking and Information Sharing Protocol.
Remedial Action Required Immediately
Despite acknowledging the cultural failure, FSU understands there has been no move by NAB to rectify this. The FSU has now written to NAB calling on them to:
- Reduce financial penalties to be no more than 10% with any outstanding bonus to be paid within 21 days;
- Update personnel records of all impacted employees to reflect the cultural and systemic nature of this breach;
- Make no further adverse reports on the issue on the Protocol ; and
- Make contact with all employees and/or former employers where an adverse report has been provided to a prospective employer clarifying future reporting arrangements.
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Finance Sector Union Member Rights Centre
Ph: 1300 366 378