National Australia Bank has named its new chairman after a public inquiry into misconduct in the financial sector led to the resignation of the previous senior management.
Philip Chronican will replace former chairman Ken Henry later this year after receiving unanimous support from board members. Mr Chronican has been acting chief executive since Andrew Thorburn stepped down with Mr Henry at the start of February.
A year-long Royal Commission into financial misconduct found that NAB — Australia’s fourth largest bank by assets — overcharged customers by almost A$100m (US$71m). The bank was singled out by investigators for charging fees when it had not supplied services, including to customers who had died.
Kenneth Hayne, the inquiry’s commissioner, said Mr Henry had refused to accept criticism of how the bank’s board had dealt with scandals.
“Much needs to change in a meaningful way at our bank,” Mr Chronican said on Wednesday. “We have unfortunately been found wanting in too many areas when it comes to our customers, and I am determined to ensure that change happens.”
Mr Chronican has thirty-five years of finance experience in Australia and New Zealand.
David Armstrong, NAB director, thanked Mr Henry for “his leadership while chairman,” noting his “significant contribution to NAB and corporate Australia”. The bank has not yet announced details of Mr Henry’s exit package; Mr Thorburn will receive a A$1m ($720,000) payout but will lose all his unvested deferred share awards.
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