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Andrew Thorburn walks away from NAB CEO role with a cool $1 million

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Andrew Thorburn, chief executive officer of National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB), departs a hearing before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. <em>(Photographer: Mark Graham/Bloomberg via Getty)</em>
Andrew Thorburn, chief executive officer of National Australia Bank Ltd. (NAB), departs a hearing before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. (Photographer: Mark Graham/Bloomberg via Getty)

NAB’s CEO Andrew Thorburn announced his resignation from his role alongside chairman Ken Henry four days after the release of the banking Royal Commission’s final report, but he won’t be going home empty handed.

Instead he’ll be walking away from the top job with an extra $1,041,449 to play with.

The sum is in lieu of 26 weeks’ notice and encompasses accrued leave entitlements, and he will finish up at the bank on 28 February.

Thorburn and Henry were the first high-level executive scalps claimed by the Royal Commission’s final report, which singled out NAB in particular among the four big banks.

“Having heard from both the CEO, Mr Thorburn, and the chair, Dr Henry, I am not as confident as I would wish to be that the lessons of the past have been learned,” Hayne’s final report said.

“More particularly, I was not persuaded that NAB is willing to accept the necessary responsibility for deciding, for itself, what is the right thing to do, and then having its staff act accordingly.”

The Royal Commission exposed NAB for charging fees-for-no-service, charging superannuation fees to dead customers, poor customer remediation, and the corporate culture that caused both problems.

Veteran banker and NAB non-executive director Phil Chronican will step into the role of acting group CEO in the wake of Thorburn’s resignation on 1 March and serve until the appointment of a new chief.

NAB’s board of directors have also created two “special committees” to manage the process for selecting candidates to fill the roles of chairman and CEO.

NAB director David Armstrong will chair the Chairman Selection Committee, while the CEO selection committee will be chaired by NAB director Ann Sherry.

The big bank’s search for Thorburn and Henry’s replacements will be taken globally.

NAB has become Australia’s least trusted bank of all time, with a Net Trust Score (NTS) of -42.2 per cent.

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