Westpac to welcome new chief risk officer

Westpac will farewell its current chief risk officer next year and has named the man to inherit the role.

Alexandra Holcomb will retire in 2018 following 21 years at Westpac. For the past three years Holcomb served as chief risk officer and has also held other senior executive positions throughout her time.

Working across group strategy and mergers and acquisitions, Holcomb played a pivotal role in Westpac's acquisition of BT Financial Group.

Hartzer thanked Holcomb for her contribution, saying she played a key role in navigating the group through a challenging time for the banking sector.

"Her insightful and collaborative approach has been critical as we continue to respond to a changing economic and regulatory environment. As chief risk officer, she leaves the organisation with a strong risk framework in place," he said.

Replacing Holcomb next year is David Stephen, currently in the same role at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

"I am pleased to have someone of David's calibre join the group executive team. He is a highly regarded global risk and financial services professional with over 30 years' experience leading risk teams in Australia, Asia, Europe and America, across retail, commercial and investment banking," Hartzer said.

He added that Stephen's experience in the UK will be particularly beneficial as the bank continues to endure a complex regulatory environment.

Prior to RBS, Stephen has also worked with Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse First Boston and also spent five years at ANZ in senior risk roles.

Just last week, Westpac reported a solid full-year net profit of $7.9 billion. While it was an increase on the previous corresponding period,

the result was weakened by $118 million in remediation paid to customers for legacy issues such as superannuation disclosures. This resulted in payments to some customers with pre-existing conditions having their insurance claims denied prior to Westpac improving its disclosure practices.

It is also refunding customers that were entitled to product discounts but were unaware they needed to specifically request the discount.

Read more: WestpacAlexandra HolcombDavid StephenBrian HartzerANZBT Financial GroupCredit Suisse First BostonDeutsche BankRoyal Bank of Scotland
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