Ken Henry says he and outgoing NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn are “deeply sorry”, after both men announced their departures from the bank in the wake of criticism from royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne.
Mr Thorburn will leave at the end of the month, while Dr Henry will stay on in his role of chairman until a new, permanent chief executive is appointed.
In the banking royal commission’s final report released on Monday, Mr Hayne said he had doubts that NAB had learned from its past mistakes, and criticised Mr Thorburn’s characterisation of the fees-for-no-service scandal as “nothing more than carelessness”.
“We’re deeply sorry. We’re saying we are deeply sorry,” Dr Henry told ABC TV’s 7.30.
“In our departures we are hoping that we will contribute to the development of a better industry that’s capable of delivering better outcomes for customers.
“They shouldn’t [take their business elsewhere] because NAB is demonstrating it’s absolutely committed to building a better bank.”
Mr Thorburn said his decision to retire followed a number of conversations with Dr Henry this week.
“I acknowledge that the bank has sustained damage as a result of its past practices and comments in the royal commission’s final report about them,” he said in a statement.