Leadership, culture and employee deceit: The case of the National Australia Bank

Steven Dellaportas, Barry J. Cooper, Peter Braica

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The National Australia Bank (NAB), one of Australia's largest banks, announced losses in 2004 of AUD$360 million due to unauthorised foreign currency trading activities by four employees who incurred and deceptively concealed the losses. The NAB had in place risk limits and supervision to prevent trading desks ever reaching positions of this magnitude. However, the risk management policies and procedures proved ineffective. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the deceit, via a content analysis of official investigative reports and other published documents, to determine the extent to which the Bank's culture and leadership may have influenced the rogue traders' behaviour. The findings suggest that cultural issues, and the role played by the Bank's leaders, were influential in creating a profit-driven culture that ultimately impacted the Bank's foreign exchange operating activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1442-1452
Number of pages11
JournalCorporate Governance: An International Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Banks
  • Board of directors
  • Business ethics
  • Risk management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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