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NAB, the Dysfunctional and Consequently Unsafe Australian Bank
by Editorial team Tuesday, Jul 25 2017, 10:01am
international / prose / post

We have recently been informed by a NAB client of an extremely alarming sequence of events involving the National Australia Bank (NAB).


The issue revolves around the dishonouring of a cheque attached to a cash management account which contained more than ample funds to honour the cheque transaction, which was issued from a bank supplied cheque book.

The cheque was issued as payment for a domestic insurance policy to one of the large insurance companies of Australia.

The cheque was dishonoured by the bank leaving the client without cover over the Easter holiday period, an unsafe period as thieves tend to operate more frequently in holiday breaks.

Notwithstanding that the lack of cover caused the client distress, as he was forced to cancel an arranged holiday, absolutely no contact by the bank to the name holder of the account was made to resolve the situation before it reached a critical level. This gross failure is clearly unacceptable, the name holder’s contact details should have been easily accessed by bank staff who should be trained to resolve any issues arising from cheques or any other transactions involving the bank’s notes/cheques of any kind, particularly as the account had more than ample funds to cover the transaction with the insurance company.

The lack of client advice from the bank which had dishonoured the cheque is a gross and serious failure as is easily appreciated.

After the holiday break the client approached the management of his local branch seeking an explanation. The assistant manager dutifully inquired into the matter through internal procedures and could find no information about the failed transaction or the reasons behind the lack of required client communication, nor were internal bank inquiries able to locate or determine the name/person responsible for dishonouring the cheque or any other details/records revealing what had occurred. A startling and very alarming situation to say the least.

The client was now fearing that his account, which had considerable assets, had been compromised, as it is unheard of that a recently dishonoured cheque could not be traceable on bank computer records or via direct internal inquiries and standard procedures.

After failing to obtain the least information via internal means, bank staff asked the client to produce the bank-issued cheque book, which was produced as requested the next day -- however, please note that the onus or responsibility was now shifted onto the client as the bank appeared to take the approach that no such event had occurred even though a letter from the insurance company was produced to bank staff as valid proof of the failed transaction.

After producing the cheque book at the counter the next day the local bank manager appeared and asked the client where he obtained the cheque book! An absurd question as the bank had obviously issued the cheque book. The manager then began to make accusative and highly offensive imputations regarding the integrity of the client and stated that the client may be asked to produce all his bank statements, which the client retained as a matter of routine record keeping. The manager then shifted course.

The manager stated that the cheque book was invalid, though no advice or replacement ‘valid’ cheque book had ever been received by the client, which process should have been automatic in those circumstances. This failure is most serious as it involves changes made to the client account by the bank without the necessary advice and updates and could have exposed the client to criminal charges if a large cheque had been issued; fortunately that was not the case as the insurance company, when advised of the circumstances, allowed the client extended time to, without penalty, deal with the matter. The NAB bank had failed to issue a new cheque book and failed to advise the client of changes to the account! Now, pause here and notice how the manager via gross and insulting imputations was attempting to shift responsibility for an obvious and gross BANK FAILURE onto the client; this scandalous approach is a well known trick/tactic utilised in the corporate sector by unscrupulous companies -- when a compromising situation arises, ‘blame the victim!’ However, this particular client had been a consultant to the private corporate sector for many years and was familiar with all corporate behaviours good and bad, so he remained calm, though at this stage, extremely concerned, as this sordid tactic was usually only resorted to by companies that had much to hide, especially their lack of honesty, integrity and efficiency.

It was astounding to the client that this extremely sordid trick of attempting to ‘blame the victim,’ was being utilised by one of Australia’s largest banks, though it soon became apparent why. NAB’s internal procedures, staff training (appalling lack of client communication) and outdated or dangerously inefficient computer record systems were all dysfunctional and clearly in urgent need of rectification, as this case clearly highlights.

The extremely foolish and transparent attempt by the manager to avoid and shift responsibility onto the client was duly noted by the client, a former professional that prior to retirement had received payment in the hundreds of dollars per hour for his advice to corporate clients regarding systemic problems with particular emphasis on information/computer systems.

The NAB client was acutely aware that external IT contractors or internal IT staff were in the optimum position to defraud the companies in which they were contracted/employed, as accessing and altering the status of rarely used accounts would only involve a few keystrokes if the system ‘failed to record’ such details, which was plainly the case in this instance, as bank staff were unable to obtain ANY information whatsoever about the dishonoured cheque, which information the insurance company possessed as a matter of proper course/procedures -- NAB was forced to access required information from the insurance company as their records and procedures failed to reveal anything, an extremely alarming situation to say the very least.

In view of all the above facts and events an email was immediately dispatched to the MD/CEO of NAB as any further dealings with the local branch would obviously prove to be futile.

The MD of NAB was therefore provided with all details of the banks failures to date and the appalling behaviour of the local branch manager, who was later instructed by investigative executive staff to apologise, needless to say, the client has not received a formal apology to date, which of course highlights more internal staff problems of which there are many, as this report would soon reveal.

A detailed document furnished by the client (attached below) was provided to Mr. Andrew Thorburn, the current MD of NAB, allowing him ample opportunity to deal with the matter before it would be referred to the board -- which notable person, Mr Ken Henry chairs -- should the CEO/MD fail in his responsibilities and duties. It is well known that incompetent executive staff habitually hide serious compromising problems/matters from their boards.

Mr Thorburn initiated an investigation headed by one of his executive staff, which it should be said, was making some progress, however, when the executive investigator made some serious, unforgivable errors regarding basic details of the case, she ‘took leave’ and the case was given to another executive staff member and then another who now maintains a form-letter obvious delaying tactic, well known to all bank and other corporate complainants.

This outrageous approach, in view of the seriousness of the bank’s failures is probably the worst tactic NAB could have resorted to as it appears that NAB has indeed discovered that they are directly responsible for the many failures listed here and below and more is yet to be listed from numerous email exchanges with the NAB executive.

These most compromising emails from NAB ‘executive’ staff will be listed in the public interest once legalities have been discussed with specialist legal professionals. The client has advised us that the above “is not the half of it!”

NAB to date has failed to adequately deal with the problems and gross failures brought to their attention, months have passed though the situation could have easily been resolved in two weeks and assurances given to the client that no further errors or gross systemic failures would occur in relation to his AND all other client accounts. If cash asset security is compromised in any bank that bank clearly becomes untenable.

To be continued.

In the meantime if internal staff and/or NAB clients and contractors wish to vent their justifiable complaints a website will soon be available to deal publicly with NAB’s many historical and recent failures -- on an ongoing basis -- and other unsavoury tactics (indefinite delays) utilised to avoid dealing with internal problems and allowing people’s hard-earned assets to possibly be compromised by fraudsters internal or external.

The new site url to be advised; please refer to this article for link in the very near future.

UPDATE: Website now available. It can be accessed via the "Corporate complaints" link in the lower left hand column on this site or directly at http://corporatewatch.zapto.org -- feel free to publish any legitimate grievance or complaint against any major corporation for the entire WORLD to see.

It also should be noted that Mr Ken Henry, current chairman of the NAB board, is indeed a notable Australian identity, however, if he fails to address and remedy these gross and unacceptable failures in a timely fashion, Mr Henry would indeed become notable for all the wrong reasons, be advised, Sir.

Also follow link below to gain a greater understanding and perspective on the types that become less than efficient/moral corporate executives -- clearly they do not deserve a tiny fraction of their pay:

NAB chairman, Ken Henry
NAB chairman, Ken Henry

Word Document Initial letter to CEO, Mr Andrew Thorburn

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