Cultural corporate cringe hits reform: NAB chief

AUSTRALIA has the corporate equivalent of a cultural cringe when it comes to encouraging and applauding the international acquisition, managing and value adding efforts of Australian companies, according to National Australia Bank managing director and CEO Frank Cicutto.

Speaking at a Securities Institute luncheon, Mr Cicutto said banks were faced with a disparity between the quality of their operations and contribution to Australia and the perception of that contribution.

“It is unfortunate that the banking industry has allowed issues such as access to bank services to become politicised to such an extent that the true contribution of our industry to this country is completely glossed over,” Mr Cicutto said.

“A prime cause of public irritation in regard to banks is our in ability to achieve a balance between our need to modernise and community expectations about minimum service levels.

“The dilemma we face is this. Do we restrict modernisation to ensure uniformity of service standards for all or do we provide different levels of service based on a capacity to pay and utilise.”

He said the dilemma was not bank specific but a broader issue was at stake.

“And that is the degree to which the social obligations of the State are becoming the social responsibilities of the corporate sector,” Mr Cicutto said.

“The fact remains that there is a growing lack of clarity about the respective roles of the corporation and the State in the new economy.

“What appears to be happening is the obligation of the State to meet the needs of the disadvantaged in the community has now become the social responsibility of major corporations such as banks.”

“I believe as a society we need to be very careful about how much of Australia’s social welfare burden is shifted to the corporate sector and the “not for profit” sector.

“It is important that we reach some level of government, business and community consensus about relative obligations and responsibilities.”

Mr Cicutto said that if people only preoccupied themselves with micro issues such as fees and branch access, they would not address the broader more serious issues of financial sector reform and our industry’s necessary response to globalisation and technology.

Add your comment

BNIQ sponsored byECU School of Business and Law


6th-Australian Institute of Management WA20,000
7th-Murdoch University16,584
8th-South Regional TAFE10,549
9th-Central Regional TAFE10,000
10th-The University of Notre Dame Australia6,708
47 tertiary education & training providers ranked by total number of students in WA

Number of Employees

BNiQ Disclaimer