Joann Mather from the AFR reports that Labor and the Greens are gearing up to grill bank CEO’s, including Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO Ian Narev next week.

The appearance of bank CEO’s for a three hour session before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, was one of the Turnbull government’s ‘alternative solutions’ to a Banking Royal Commission.  Major questions remain outstanding in relation to Commbank’s treatment of Bankwest commercial loan customers, following two federal government inquiries.

Prior to becoming CEO of the bank, Ian Narev led CBA’s acquisition of the Bankwest, which subsequently terminated 1958 commercial loan customers.  Law firm Hall Partners, have finally established a fully-funded Bankwest Class Action relating to the CBA’s actions.

If history is any guide, little will be achieved in the questioning of Mr Narev, who will be primed with medial lines and also likely to take any ‘difficult’ questions on notice.

Given the number of scandals already aired, it is difficult to envisage how anything constructive will be gained from this limited window of questioning.  We look forward to any government minister who makes genuine attempts to hold Mr Narev to account, rather than play political games to protect the banks from being held to account for serious, systemic misconduct.

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