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Australian parliamentary inquiry grills banks over internal policies

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Australian parliamentary inquiry grills banks over internal policies

An Australian parliamentary inquiry questioned major Australianbanks over their internal processes amid several cases of misconduct, The Sydney Morning Herald reported April4.

Commonwealth Bankof Australia fended off questions over its handling of whistleblowers,with David Cohen, group executive at the bank, saying the lender had already overhauledits whistleblower policies in the past year.

The comments come after staff members at the bank said they raisedconcerns about misconductwithin the lender, but the matter was not addressed.

The inquiry also asked Commonwealth Bank of Australia about claimsthat it deliberately defaulted some business customers, particularly those of Bankwestafter Commonwealth Bank of Australia bought the bank in 2008. Cohen said in responsethat the bank had undertaken a detailed review on the matter and it should be putto rest.

Meanwhile, Australia& New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. faced questions over its stakein Malaysia's AmBank (M) Bhd.,which is embroiled in a corruption scandal involving Malaysian state fund 1MDB.Senators questioned Graham Hodges, ANZ's deputy CEO, over the bank's alleged knowledgeof more than US$1 billion flowing into AmBank accounts of the Malaysian prime minister.

Hodges defended the bank, saying it was limited in what it coulddo given that it only owns 24% of AmBank.