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Time's up for Henry but also the billion-dollar audit club

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The latest National Australia Bank scandal has triggered unanimous bipartisan support for a parliamentary inquiry into the potential conflicts of the big audit firms. It is long overdue.

So too is the departure of NAB’s chairman Ken Henry, who needs to reassess whether he should leave now instead of waiting until later this year. The drums are beating louder.

NAB chairman Ken Henry.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

On Friday, NAB and auditor EY were reeling after a trove of leaked documents handed to The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald by a whistleblower shone an embarrassing light on the private workings of the bank and the cosy relationship with its auditor of 13 years, EY (formerly Ernst & Young).

Besides triggering a parliamentary inquiry that will start later this year, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann was asking NAB for a more immediate 'please explain'.

The documents make for disturbing reading.

They included confidential minutes of a meeting where Henry privately told EY consultants in the midst of the Hayne royal commission he was "confident" the bank was still selling products that ripped off its customers and would eventually trigger compensation.

The bank and Henry remain silent on naming those products, admitting the number of customers who........

© The Age