Banking Royal Commission continues: CommBank and Westpac face grilling

Commonwealth CEO Matt Comyn and other bank chiefs face questioning by the House of Representatives.
Commonwealth CEO Matt Comyn and other bank chiefs face questioning by the House of Representatives.

The chief executives of the Commonwealth Bank and Westpac will be the first banking heads to be grilled by politicians about the "appalling behaviour" revealed at the royal commission.

The Commonwealth Bank's Matt Comyn and Westpac's Brian Hartzer will face the House of Representatives committee on economics in a public hearing in Canberra on Thursday.

The hearing is the first of three the committee is holding over the coming week to question the banking leaders.

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott will appear on Friday, while the National Australia Bank's Andrew Thorburn will appear next week.

Economics committee chair and Liberal MP Tim Wilson says the hearings will be an important opportunity to scrutinise the chief executives.

He said it's important to ensure the "appalling behaviour" revealed at the royal commission is not repeated, without inhibiting the contribution of the banks to the economy.

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"This misconduct has either gone unpunished, or the consequences have not met the seriousness of what has occurred and must be addressed," he said.

The hearings come after the Australian Banking Association on Wednesday revealed a new industry code aiming at clamping down on poor behaviour.

It requires banks to stop charging dead people and to ensure they only extract fees from customers in exchange for services actually provided.

The voluntary charter comes into force on July 1 next year.

Australian Associated Press