She’s married to a tradie and was the now-embattled NAB bank boss’s chief of staff, but Rosemary Rogers managed to build a $6 million property portfolio and allegedly take a $500,000 holiday.
As the fate of NAB boss Andrew Thorburn hangs in the balance, with the bank suspending ASX trading ahead of an announcement about its leadership, the lifestyle of his staffer has come under the spotlight.
While ordinary Australians struggled to buy a house in the now-deflating property boom, NAB was raking in billion-dollar profits and throwing sumptuous perks at its executives.
NAB executives are renowned for extravagant holidays as part of a package of perks that included getaways in exclusive US retreats and luxury weekends at Australian wineries and boutique resorts.
But it is the acquisitions of the former NAB executive assistant that has raised eyebrows.
Fairfax reports police were investigating allegations Ms Rogers rorted $500,000 from the bank to fund a luxury resort holiday for herself and others.
News.com.au has confirmed that NSW Police searched Ms Rogers $3.8 million home in the elite Melbourne suburb of Williamstown last December.
Police are investigating whether a lack of oversight inside Mr Thorburn’s office led to the alleged fraud, Fairfax reported.
In NSW, the state crime command’s Strike Force Napthali is also investigating allegations of a multimillion-dollar corporate fraud after claims of overcharging and kickbacks at NAB.
Investigators have been told about a scheme whereby a person would allegedly receive corrupt commissions to authorise payments by a financial institution of invoices for a contractor, which were in excess of the agreed value of the contract.
In April last year, operating on three search warrants, it raided the Sydney offices of the Human Group, whose CEO Helen Rosamond worked closely with Ms Rogers organising executive events for NAB, The Australian Financial Review reported.
Last November it was revealed Mr Thorburn took a luxury holiday to a private island in Fiji where the rooms cost between $6000 and $45,000 per night, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The holiday was allegedly organised by Ms Rogers and its revelation amid those of the banking sector’s exploitation of customers put a question mark over Mr Thorburn.
It is not suggested Mr Thorburn has knowledge of any wrongdoing.
Ms Rogers bought her trophy home with pool in Williamstown with an NAB mortgage.
She has resigned from NAB, after years working as executive assistant to the previous CEO, Cameron Clyne, and then chief of staff to Mr Thorburn.
Commissioner Ken Hayne singled out the NAB for his harshest criticism in the banking royal commission.
Mr Hayne said NAB “stood apart” from the other three major banks.
He questioned if Mr Thorburn and NAB chairman Ken Henry had learnt any lessons from past conduct.
“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,” he said.
He slated Mr Thorburn for not properly acknowledging NAB’s fault in charging fees for no service.
“I thought it telling that Mr Thorburn treated all issues of fees for no service as nothing more than carelessness combined with system deficiencies when the total amount to be repaid by NAB and NULIS on this account is likely to be more than $100 million,” Mr Hayne said.