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Company: National Australia Bank

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NAB rebel head quits amid scandal

Date Class
6th May 2004 Questionable Business Practice
National Australia Bank director, Catherine Walter, has decided to quit in the aftermath of a trading scandal after originally refusing to step down.

"I have tried to stand up for what I believe is in the long term interests of the bank," she said in a statement.

Ms Walter claimed she was made a scapegoat for 252m Australian dollars (104m; $188m) in losses on unauthorised foreign exchange trades.

The affair has already cost the jobs of senior executives at the bank.

Ms Walter had initially said she would only step down if the rest of the board followed suit.

The row has proved embarrassing for NAB's new management team, who had hoped to draw a line under the rogue-trading controversy.

Three top managers and five traders have been removed, after recommendations in a report from consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC).

Ms Walter was deposed from the audit committee after the PwC report, but had argued that agreeing to go meekly would be a tacit admission of guilt.

Financial regulators identified a fault in the culture of NAB, which it argued was pursuing profit at the expense of ethical checks and balances.

Institutional investors have trodden carefully around the affair; as the country's biggest bank NAB wields considerable influence in financial circles.




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