At ANZ’s annual general meeting in Brisbane yesterday, chief executive Shayne Elliott confirmed only 30 per cent of affected clients had been refunded.
He said the bank was “paying customers back as fast as we can” to meet the recommendations made by the banking royal commission.
“For retail and commercial banking in Australia, we currently estimate that over 3.4 million bank accounts need fixing,” Mr Elliott said, according to AAP.
“No one is proud of the fact we need to remediate mistakes of the past but we are learning from our failures and strengthening the bank as a result.
“We’re teaching our people about what (went) wrong and how it affected our customers to ensure we don’t make these mistakes again.”
Just one million affected bank accounts had been repaid, with customers being refunded an average of $60.
Chairman David Gonski also addressed the situation in his opening address to the AGM.
“A key outcome of the royal commission has been the need for the industry to urgently fix the issues of the past,” he said.
“ANZ has not been immune from this challenge and we announced an additional charge of $682 million for remediation work.
“Your board recognises the impact this has on shareholders. This is a real cost and, as a result, it has impacted the remuneration outcome for management.
“However, we also know it’s vital we return customers’ money as quickly as possible – and we have a team of more than 1000 people dedicated to this challenge.”
Mr Gonski said if there was “a positive” from the situation, it was that “much of the time and resources committed to the task are actually making us a stronger and safer bank for customers and shareholders”.
“Lessons are learned, systems are improved and operational risks are reduced for the business going forward,” he said.
“This means that these failures are less likely to occur again. Every failure damages our customers and our reputation, and costs us money.
“As we address these problems at their root, this will make us easier to deal with, more efficient – a better institution to bank with.”