NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn iis nterviewed on Sky News in Melbourne.
NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn iis nterviewed on Sky News in Melbourne.

Andrew Thornburn cannot be serious

In the words of tennis legend John McEnroe, NAB boss Andrew Thorburn "cannot be serious."

This is exactly how I felt when I heard Thorburn happily explain on Sky TV today that he had done such a remarkable thing and decided to cancel his never-ending summer travel adventures.

It was time to go back to work after himself and chum, chairman Ken Henry were strongly criticised by Commissioner Kenneth Hayne in his final report.

Hayne said he was not confident they had learned their lessons from the bank's behaviour.

"I thought it was telling that Mr Thorburn treated all issues of fees for no service as nothing more than carelessness combined with system deficiencies when the total amount to be repaid by NAB and NULIS on this account is likely to be more than $100 million," he said.

Thorburn decided to explain himself on air to business guru Ticky Fullerton and justify why he's allowed to go on holidays.

"You have a life outside the company and I don't think it's unreasonable to take extended leave," Thorburn said.

"I have a family I want to spend time with and it's important for my mental and physical wellbeing."

Andrew Thorburn, CEO of NAB, does an interview during an emergency board meeting in Melbourne today. Picture: Stuart McEvoy/The Australian.
Andrew Thorburn, CEO of NAB, does an interview during an emergency board meeting in Melbourne today. Picture: Stuart McEvoy/The Australian.

Well what about all those people who NAB ripped off Mr Thorburn?

What about their mental and physical wellbeing?

Do they get time off after recovering from the damage they suffered by your bank gouging them?

I'm sure Mr Thorburn those NAB customers who are now dead, will be turning in their graves listening to you speak today.

The ones your bank charged fees to when they were six feet under.

And what about the customers who were incorrectly slugged wealth management fees?

Do you think they are going to feel sorry for you because your holiday plans have been stopped dead in their tracks.

Don't they say timing is everything?

NAB Chairman Ken Henry and CEO Andrew Thorburn were singled out for special criticism by Hayne report. Picture: David Geraghty/The Australian.
NAB Chairman Ken Henry and CEO Andrew Thorburn were singled out for special criticism by Hayne report. Picture: David Geraghty/The Australian.

Having extended leave during a Royal Commission is not a good look Mr Thorburn.

Has he forgotten former Victorian Police Commissioner Christine Nixon's terrible error of judgment almost 10 years to the day ago to go out for dinner when the state was burning down?

And where was Mr Thorburn when his bank hiked variable rates last month?

That's right, he was on leave.

Only time will tell if Thorburn and Henry will still be sitting in their plum seats for much longer.

These bankers are completely out of touch with reality.

They have innocent customers who have been completely dudded and having a holiday now is not a good look, no matter how you spin it.

Explain this to Joey in the burbs who got ripped off.

Many hardworking Australians don't have the luxury to take months off a time.

It's time for these bank bosses to be accountable and get real with themselves.

Sophie Elsworth is News Corp's national personal finance writer.

@sophieelsworth



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