YspeopleExplore tab

Why 'banker' should start with a W

Thumb angry biker showing middle finger with both hands 000078716059 small

About Subversive

Do you have your own gripe with your local or state government? And what are the streets like in your part of town, in your home state?

If you'd like me to fire a rocket up them, or a shoddy business, I'm listening! You can email me here.

It's our fault that the big banks treat us with such contempt and arrogance. Time to hit back by taking our mortgages and accounts elsewhere.

Two weeks ago, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced that retail banking head Matt Comyn would succeed Ian Narev as CEO.

New CBA CEO Matt Comyn.

New CBA CEO Matt Comyn. Picture: CBA

It was testament to the arrogance of the banks. It showed just how little the bank's chair, Katherine Livingston, considers ethics in her decision making -- also demonsrating that there is a glaring typo (albeit intended) every time ‘banker’ is spelt with a ‘b’.

I fully understand and embrace Livingstone’s point that appointing Comyn (well-mentored by Narev) is a signal to the market that the financially successful strategies being implemented by the bank will continue.

Read more from Subversive Sam: Who thinks Ian Narev is worth $12M a year?

                                                          Fools in charge of the telco asylum

Investors were always going to like this decision. It suggests a continuation of the strategy that last week delivered a $4.9 billion half-year net profit, even after providing for anticipated fines arising from recent questionable activities.

I understand why investors have viewed this in a positive light, but the rest of us should not.

A key responsibility of a CEO and his senior team is to create and maintain the culture of a business.

Yet the senior team at CBA, led by Ian Narev and including Matt Comyn, presided over a superannuation scandal, an insurance scandal, a money-laundering scandal and, some argue, an interest rate-fi scandal -- with a great deal more on top of this.

As a result, the bank is facing the prospect of having to pay a billion dollars or more in fines, as a result of just some of these scandals. Ian Narev himself, has admitted that these scandals have reflected cultural breakdowns at the CBA. To an outsider like me, this all reflects a culture of doing whatever is necessary to make as much money of possible.

To me, Katherine Livingston is sounding more and more like Gordon Gekko.

To me, Matt Comyn is sounding like a man who will carry on the questionable work of Ian Narev.

To me, the CBA is looking more like an evil empire with a culture that has not appreciation of ethics.

But they are no alone.

Anna Bligh -- the one-time premier of Queensland and champion of the downtrodden -- is now the CEO of the Australian Bankers Association, which represents the big banks and fought most stridently to prevent a royal commission into them.

To me, a royal commission is well overdue and Anna Bligh has now demonstrated that she is available to serve the highest bidder. I wonder if she ever had ethical standards?

But my greatest criticism is of you! Yes, you dear reader!!

I know you dislike the banks, but what have you done about it?

Have you changed the source of your home or car loan? Have you shifted your credit card to a credit union or one of the small banks? Have you lodged a complaint recently or done anything at all to demonstrate to the banks that you are unhappy with them?

Or are you hiding behind the ‘what difference can I make’ protective banner?

Well until we do something, nothing will change!

If you think that the scandals at the CBA will cease and that banks will begin behaving ethically because of a new CEO at CBA, or a royal commission stage-managed by a government that never wanted one, then you are sillier than you look.

I know I have not done enough!

Banner 2
| Your rating
No ratings yet

Related stories

Trickle-down economics my arse.

How big business is giving you the shaft

Are you battling to make ends meet thanks to stagnant wages and lack of jobs? Here's who's to blame.

Politics Social Issues Community Business Money
5 days ago
(Money & Business)
What impact will the eventual death of Queen Elizabeth have on us in Australia?.

What happens to us when the Queen dies?


As a part of the Commonwealth, the impact on Australia will be greater than you think.

UK Australia Community Social Issues Politics
5 days ago
(Money & Business)
Myer - no Harrods.

Good riddance to Myer's CEO!

And there are plenty more who should follow him. Don't these obscene executive salaries make you furious?

Business Money
11 days ago
(Money & Business)
The dingy alleyway that leads to 78 Records is full of bins and junkies.

What it's like to work in junkie alley

An alleyway that almost everybody in the city walks past everyday, directly opposite the entrance to our underground train...

Politics Western Australia Social Issues
14 days ago
(Money & Business)
No joke, I've had enough of this kind of customer service.

Your money is valued, but you aren't

You can always trust Subversive Sam to call out shoddy business practises where he sees them. Join him in his fight for what's...

Business Community Social Issues Money
17 days ago
(Money & Business)
Who would you employ? Picture: Shutterstock.

Who would you employ?

Two terrific candidates, one correct answer to a question. But who I'd choose is not who you'd think.

Money Business
20 days ago
(Money & Business)
Malindo Air ignored its responsibilities to passengers flying out of KL.

Let's stick it to airlines who treat us like cattle

I'm furious after again being treated with contempt by airlines and their staff. Share your own horror stories here.

Money Business International Travel
24 days ago
(Money & Business)
Public urination is a serious problem in Perth.

Don’t you love the smell of stale urine in the morning!

There's nothing like the stench of stale urine punching you in the face on the way to work.

Business Australia Social Issues Politics
25 days ago
(Money & Business)
Centrelink has contempt for the community it serves.

Centrelink demonstrates contempt for community

Why senior heads should roll over Centrelink's appalling phone query wait times.

Business Australia Social Issues Politics
About 1 month ago
(Money & Business)
Have we been sold a lemon with the NBN? And what should we do about it? Picture: Shutterstock.

What should we do about the NBN?

The NBN is now being called a lemon. So where to now and what are the best alternatives? Vent here, we're listening!

Politics Australia Technology
About 1 month ago
(Money & Business)
Trending stories
Don Bradman - number 2?.

The poet who beat Don Bradman to No.1

When it comes to great...

(Entertainment & Culture) 3 days ago
Top Indonesian chef Chandra Yudasswara will be cooking up a secret storm for Taste Great Southern.

Celebrity chef set for a Secret Affair in Great Southern

Take one of Indonesia's top...

(Epicure) About 1 month ago
Comedic actor Leslie Neilsen's grave stone is a beauty.

We're all just a little dash between two dates

But there are some who get...

(Entertainment & Culture) 4 days ago
Trickle-down economics my arse.

How big business is giving you the shaft

Are you battling to make...

(Money & Business) 5 days ago
When it comes to great bloggers you can connect with, this list has you covered.

20 mature bloggers worth following

Looking for Australian...

(Entertainment & Culture) 11 months ago
Weekly Poll
Haiku of the week
Photographic memories
Who remembers these fashion trends of yesteryear? Share your fashionable photos from the past with us!