Commonwealth Bank shuffles board of directors

The board of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on Monday announced the appointment of former Westpac CRO Robert Whitfield to the bank’s board while also flagging a couple of retirements.

In a statement, CBA said Whitfield had been appointed as independent non-executive director of the board effective immediately. He has significant experience in banking and finance in senior management roles across the private and public sectors.

Whitfield is currently a director of New South Wales Treasury Corporation and, until recently, was secretary of NSW Treasury and of NSW Industrial Relations.

Prior to this he had a 30-year career with Westpac, holding various senior positions, including chief executive officer of the Institutional Bank, chief risk officer, group treasurer and chairman of the Asia Advisory Board.

“I am delighted to welcome Rob as a director of the board. Rob’s broad risk management and public sector experience, as well as his extensive banking experience, will deepen the board’s existing skills and expertise,” said CBA chairman Catherine Livingstone.

In other changes, Andrew Mohl, who has been on the board for nine years, will stand for re-election at this year’s Annual General Meeting, and serve one more year. Mohl has extensive insurance-related experience, which CBA said is “providing valuable strategic insight to the board” as the bank undertakes a review of its life insurance business.

AUSTRAC charges

CBA also announced the retirement of Launa Inman and Harrison Young. Inman has been a director of the bank since March 2011 and a member of the Board’s Audit and Remuneration Committees. Young has been a director of the bank since February 2007 and has been a member the Risk, Audit and Nominations Committees.

Inman and Young will retire at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting on 16 November 2017.

CBA also confirmed on Monday that the civil penalty proceedings initiated by AUSTRAC on 3 August had been listed for a directions hearing in the Federal Court.

"The court ordered, with the consent of the parties, for Commonwealth Bank to file its defence to the proceedings by 15 December 2017 and for AUSTRAC to file a response by 16 March 2018. The matter has been listed for a further directions hearing on 2 April 2018," said CBA in a statement.

"CBA’s response to AUSTRAC’s civil proceedings, as well as the ongoing program of action to strengthen the Group’s anti-money laundering frameworks, will continue to be overseen by a Committee of the Board of the Bank."

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