Westpac appoints new chair

Westpac has appointed John McFarlane to the board as non-executive director and chair-elect, set to replace Lindsay Maxsted on 2 April 2020.

McFarlane has over 44 years' experience in the financial services industry both in Australia and internationally, having served 10 years as chief executive at ANZ, which also included 10 years as a director of the Australian Bankers Association including two years as chair.

Maxsted said McFarlane is not only well known in Australia and New Zealand, but is a respected banking leader globally.

"Over the past 27 years he has been a main board director of five of the world's leading financial institutions, including as executive and non-executive chair, chief executive and executive and non-executive director roles," Maxsted said.

"He has a proven track record in delivering results, along with cultural and organisational change."

McFarlane was most recently chair at Barclays in London for four years, and prior to that he worked at UK insurer Aviva, where he delivered a successful turnaround program.

Maxsted said McFarlane successfully helped Barclays return to profit after the Global Financial Crisis which had long-standing negative effects on the company.

"During his four years as chairman, the company was streamlined, repositioned and has sustainably returned to profit," Maxsted said.

"McFarlane is passionate about driving progress in the banking industry."

Over his career McFarlane has also held roles as chair of TheCityUK, the UK's coordinating financial services body which accounts for 11% of the UK GDP with over 1.3 million employees.

"This experience, coup-led with his strong customer and employee focus, will be invaluable to Westpac as the organisation executes its strategy and implements its response plan for the AUSTRAC statement of claim," Maxsted said.

The appointment comes after AUSTRAC launched legal proceedings against the bank, alleged 23 million breaches of the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism laws.

The scandal led to the former chief executive Brian Hartzer stepping down and Peter King appointed as acting chief executive in November last year.

Read more: WestpacAUSTRACBarclaysLindsay MaxstedANZAustralian Bankers AssociationAvivaBrian HartzerJohn McFarlanePeter King
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