* ANZ boss says industry suffers from bad behaviour, poor
* Bank bosses may be called to testify more than once a year
* Government could move to make bank accounts more
(Recasts; adds further CEO comments, details of committee
By Jamie Freed
SYDNEY, Oct 5 The head of Australia's ANZ Bank
said he believed banking bosses had been hauled before
a parliamentary committee because the industry had lost touch
with its customers, as he backed the introduction of
consumer-friendly initiatives proposed by lawmakers designed to
Shayne Elliott was the second CEO of the nation's "Big Four"
banks to face three hours of grilling this week by the
committee, which was formed after a series of industry scandals
involving misleading financial advice, insurance fraud and
"I think that as an industry we have lost touch with our
customers and we have become too internally focused and
forgotten our role in society and the community at large,"
Elliott told the committee on Wednesday, adding that had led to
bad behaviour and poor culture.
The committee proposed to call the bank bosses at least
annually, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday
indicated more appearances could be required.
"I would expect the committee will ask the banks to come
back more than once a year," Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.
During his testimony Elliott, like Commonwealth Bank of
Australia Chief Executive Ian Narev on Tuesday, said he
was open to a proposal to set up a banking tribunal to arbitrate
between aggrieved customers and the banks.
Elliott also backed a potential move by lawmakers that would
force banks to transfer customer data to other institutions to
make it easier to switch banks, which can be a long and
cumbersome process at present. "Absolutely we should enable
that," he said.
Elliott said he would not take issue with a proposal by
committee chairman David Coleman to make it easier to set up new
banks in Australia, where the Big Four control 80 percent of the
lending market. The proposal could involve lowering capital
requirements and a 15 percent shareholder cap, Coleman said.
(Reporting by Jamie Freed)