NAB has scrapped a contentious program under which people including gym instructors and hairdressers were paid commissions for loans they pitched to their customers.
The lender said on Monday it would end its so-called introducer program on October 1 as part of its response to the financial services royal commission.
Interim chief executive Philip Chronican said the move was about putting customers first, but the scheme had also been defrauded by bankers including branch managers.
“We need to be simpler and more transparent to earn trust,” Mr Chronican said.
“We want customers to have the confidence to come to NAB because of the products and services we provide – not because a third party received a payment to recommend us.”
NAB paid a fee equivalent to 0.4 per cent of any loan successfully pitched by introducers, stumping up about $100 million between 2013 and 2016.
NAB claimed schools, community groups and sports clubs could use the scheme to fundraise, but the royal commission heard ASIC had taken action against 60 bankers over fraud and misconduct related to it.
Bankers created false documents and accepted cash payments from introducers, while some staff took bribes for fraudulent home loans.
Mr Chronican, who replaced Andrew Thorburn when the CEO walked amid the fallout of the royal commission final report, said he was certain scrapping introducer payments was the right thing to do.
“Like other businesses, we will still welcome referrals and will continue to build strong relationships with business and community partners,” said Mr Chronican, who last week postponed the closure of NAB’s regional branches until at least 2021.
“However, there will be no ‘introducer’ payments made.”