Corporate Culture

When the organizational culture stinks

Total mismatch between the reality and the value statements

Picture this: Advisers from Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) charged dead clients for financial advice – in one case for a decade.

Not even death stopped some CBA customers being hit with fees for financial advice they did not receive. Another adviser was charging fees to customers when there was no evidence of services being rendered.

CBA has been investigated for unethical banking practices, including charging financial advisory fees to long-dead customers. The fees charged by CBA have been the focus of the royal commission into misconduct in banking and financial services.

Angry customers want bankers to face jail time. Convicting individuals clearly “sends a message”, but these employees are easily replaced with others just as willing to commit the offences, unless the organisation’s culture is changed – (c) Luis Ascui

Again there is is total mismatch between the reality and the fluffy value statements (“What we value most”) of CBA:

Integrity – Saying and doing what is right – This means saying and doing what is right for our customers, our people, our community and our shareholders

Our commitment:

I commit to honesty – I will be honest and demonstrate integrity in every aspect of my work and whenever I represent CBA, including in balancing and fulfilling customer, shareholder, colleague and other stakeholder needs. I recognize this is essential to our stakeholders’ trust in us. I will be straightforward in how I create, improve and talk about our products and services; thorough in how I manage risk; and transparent in the way I provide necessary information on our business whilst also maintaining my commitment to confidentiality

This case adds up to a long list of scandals most of them due to organizational culture.

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Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and United Kingdom

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