'Reactive and complacent' CBA enters EU

— 1 minute read

The Commonwealth Bank has entered into an enforceable undertaking with APRA after the prudential regulator handed down a damning report into the bank's governance, culture and accountability frameworks.

APRA has made public this morning its final report into APRA's governance, culture and accountability frameworks. The report was announced on 28 August 2017 in the wake of allegations against CBA by AUSTRAC.

Following an interim report that said it would examine CBA's 'fall from grace', today's final report reveals the bank is entering an EU with APRA "under which CBA’s remedial action in response to the report will be monitored".


APRA has also slapped an additional $1 billion capital requirement on Australia's largest bank.

The panel overseeing the report identified "inadequate oversight" by the board of emerging non-financial risks; a lack of "ownership" of key risks; and weakness about how problems are identified and a "lack of urgency" when it comes to their resolution.

The report also found CBA had an "overly complex and bureaucratic decision-making processes that favoured collaboration over timely and effective outcomes and slowed the detection of risk failings".

CBA also has a remuneration framework that, "at least until the AUSTRAC action, had little sting for senior managers".

The report has recommended: 

  • more rigorous Board and Executive Committee level governance of non-financial risks;
  • exacting accountability standards reinforced by remuneration practices;
  • a substantial upgrading of the authority and capability of the operational risk management and compliance functions;
    injection into CBA’s DNA of the "should we" question in relation to all dealings with and decisions on customers; and
  • cultural change that moves the dial from reactive and complacent to empowered, challenging and striving for best practice in risk identification and remediation.

APRA will work closely with ASIC to ensure the recommendations are addressed in full via the EU.


'Reactive and complacent' CBA enters EU
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