New NAB chair seeks to ease shareholders

National Australia Bank's newly elected chair and interim chief executive has moved to reassure shareholders of his priorities going forward, including ongoing changes to executive remuneration following criticism.

In a letter to NAB shareholders, Philip Chronican said the bank's board "heard loud and clear" that 2018 remuneration outcomes did not meet shareholder or community expectations.

"We are changing our framework to ensure it provides the right balance of financial metrics, customer outcomes and the management of non-financial risks over the long and short-term," he said.

"And we will make sure compensation appropriately reflects the individual and collective performance of the executive team."

Chronican said one main focus going forward is earning back consumers' trust, adding the enormity of the task is not lost on him.

"We have let down our customers. We have let down you, our owners. And we have let down the community. We have also let down our people on the frontline who do a great job, day in, day out, serving customers," he said.

He said the first steps is to fix the issues that caused NAB's failures in the first place and paying back customers that are owed compensation.

Since June 2018, NAB has returned more than $110 million to about 310,000 customers; "and we are stepping up the pace," he added.

Chronican said he is confident the Royal Commission's recommendations will lead to a better industry, and expects NAB to lead the change.

"It will not be enough to focus on customers; we need to obsess about getting it right for them every single time," he said.

NAB continues to scout a new chief executive, with Chronican stating board renewal is also a priority for the group in 2019.

"The board and I know the significance of the challenge ahead. We also know what needs to be done," he said.

"I am confident NAB will earn your trust and I look forward to sharing our progress [in our half-year results]."

Read more: NABNational Australia BankPhilip ChronicanRoyal Commission
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