The Commonwealth Bank has advised that it will begin a reimbursement process to current and former staff for lost wages from next week.
The reimbursement follows CBA’s review of employee superannuation entitlements in 2017 which revealed a number of discrepancies in the calculation and processing of entitlements.
The discrepancies related to staff that were paid through Commonwealth Bank Australian payrolls including employees at CBA subsidiary BankWest.
CBA has revealed to Investor Daily that it will be commencing its repayments from next week with an expected $4.8 million to be in the first tranche of payments.
Executive general manager of group people services Andrew Culleton said CBA would continue its review and ensure its employees receive the entitlements they are owed.
“We regret these errors and apologise. Our people have worked, and continue to work hard to support our customers, and I want to assure them that we’re fixing our systems and processes so this doesn’t happen again,” Mr Culleton said.
Mr Culleton said that all impacted current and former employments would receive back pay with interest and their leave balances adjusted where applicable.
“We have begun remediation and the first tranche will involve approximately 8,000 current and former employees receiving back pay totalling $4.8 million including interest,” he said.
The Finance Sector Union national secretary Julia Angrisano said the errors from CBA should not have happened and staff deserved an apology.
“This is a major stuff-up by the CBA and hardworking bank staff deserve an apology and a commitment from the CBA’s Chair Catherine Livingstone and CEO Matt Comyn that this kind of pay bungle won’t happen again,” Ms Angrisano said.
Ms Angrisano said the repayments could eventually total $15 million once full restitution had been made.
“Bank workers at CBA have been underpaid for several years and once full restitution is made, plus interest and additional superannuation payments, the CBA and its BankWest subsidiary will be up for more than $10 million dollars in backpay with the possibility the total amount could top $15 million,” she said.
Ms Angrisano said the latest blunder was a concern given new reports that CBA was recently reported to be looking to cute jobs.
“The CBA has told us media reports that it intended to close 300 branches were ‘incorrect’ but would not deny plans to axe 10,000 to 12,000 staff, suggesting reports to that effect were ‘misleading and unnecessarily alarming,” Ms Angrisano said.
Commonwealth Bank told Investor Daily that it was disappointed that the FSU was reading into media speculation regarding its workforce.
“We have described these reports as misleading and unnecessarily alarming. CBA is committed to our people and are disappointed that speculation may be repeated as fact,” a spokesperson said.
The report by The Australian said that Matt Comyn was working on a plan to cut 10,000 employees with the closure of up to 300 branches to save around $2 billion in costs.
CBA confirmed that it was looking at ways to manage costs but said it was part of good business to invest in things that make a difference to its customers.
“This is an ongoing focus for our business to enable us to invest in things that will make a measurable and long-term difference in the lives of our customers,” they said.
Commonwealth said The Australian report was misleading and the bank was committed to its review decision.
“With respect to our branch network, the suggestion that ‘300 of the bank’s network of branches is under consideration’ is incorrect and misleading.
“We remain committed to our decision to limit our review of branches in regional and rural towns during this financial year, given the conditions currently experienced by rural NSW and Queensland,” they said.
Eliot Hastie is a journalist at Momentum Media, writing primarily for its wealth and financial services platforms.
Eliot joined the team in 2018 having previously written on Real Estate Business with Momentum Media as well.
Eliot graduated from the University of Westminster, UK with a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism).
You can email him on: [email protected]