Commonwealth Bank has no tolerance for any illegal activity by any employee. In February 2015 we reported certain suspicious activity to NSW Police. In March 2015 two former Commonwealth Bank employees were arrested and charged by NSW Police and we continue to fully cooperate with the police and authorities as these proceedings progress through the courts. As these matters are subject to ongoing criminal proceedings we are limited in what we can say. Below is our statement to The Australian, as well as our public statements at the time of the arrests.
Media statement to The Australian on 1 April 2016
Commonwealth Bank takes all allegations of misconduct, fraud and illegality very seriously. As an organisation, ethics and culture are really important for us. This doesn’t mean that we are perfect, but it does mean that as allegations come to light, they are investigated and, where they are found to have some basis in fact – then we must act.
Investigations can be difficult and complex, and they can evolve over time, especially as more information comes to light. In this case, what began initially as an enquiry into conduct of one individual subsequently evolved into an investigation into a course of conduct involving a number of individuals which we found was also potentially illegal.
We can confirm that a former employee raised different concerns, only with his direct manager, about the quality and structure of the contract and the unprofessional behaviour of Mr Waldron many months prior to the bank discovering other evidence of alleged criminal behaviour and reporting it to the police. His concerns were reviewed and it was determined there was no need to change the contract.
Once the news of Mr Waldron's and Mr Hunter's arrest was detailed in the media, the former employee wrote to the bank questioning if his redundancy was manufactured given the concerns he raised. We took his concerns very seriously and investigated the circumstances thoroughly.
The bank has many thousands of technology contracts and given the value and size, there is no reason this particular contract would come to the CEO for briefing and approval and following a search we haven't found any record of such a note.
We encourage all employees to speak up if they see activities or behaviours that are potentially fraudulent, illegal or inconsistent with our values. We provide a number of different safeguards aimed at ensuring that no negative consequences come from raising concerns. Whenever we have cause to suspect any potentially illegal activity it will be investigated thoroughly and necessary action taken to ensure the integrity of our organisation is not compromised.
In referring this matter to the NSW Police, we understood this issue would be uncomfortable for us as details will unfold in court. We took the view then, as we do now, that we did the right thing in referring this matter to the Police and that the judicial process now needs to take its full and proper course.
Clarification regarding statement made to The Australian on 1 April 2016
Our statement made on 1 April 2016 has been interpreted as indicating that the concerns raised by the former employee were ignored. That is not the case. While the key parts of the deal did not change, the bank’s review of his concerns by his manager did result in certain changes to some of the documents underpinning the transaction. The former employee was also directly involved in some of these discussions.
Media statement on 18 March 2015
Commonwealth Bank confirms that a former executive appeared before the NSW Court this morning.
CBA reported this matter to the NSW Police and we will continue to fully cooperate while the investigation continues.
We have no tolerance for any illegal activity by any employee and we take every situation seriously.
We confirm that no customer has been affected by this matter.
It is not appropriate to further comment while this matter is subject to criminal proceedings.
Media statement on 26 March 2015 following second person charged
Given the allegations are now subject to criminal proceedings it is not appropriate for us to comment.
We can confirm that Commonwealth Bank reported this matter to the NSW Police and we will continue to fully cooperate while the investigation continues.
We can also confirm that no customer has been affected by this matter.
We have no tolerance for any alleged illegal activity by any employee and we take every situation seriously.