Westpac has confirmed acting chief executive Peter King will take on the role permanently to steer the bank through ongoing uncertainty.
In an announcement today, Westpac chair John McFarlane said King has agreed to take on the role for the next two years.
“I believe we need a chief executive in place now, not later, and with full, rather than acting authority,” McFarlane said.
“I have built a strong relationship with Peter since we first met. He understands the bank, its business and its finances, and has the confidence of the management team, as well as my own and that of the board.”
King has worked at the bank for the last 25 years. Westpac will continue its search for a more long-term replacement during King’s tenure.
“We are focused on responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and supporting our customers and protecting our people. We have a critical role to play alongside government and our regulators in supporting Australians and New Zealanders and our countries’ financial systems,” King said.
King added that his medium-term priorities remain to drive performance through the bank’s various lines of business, sharper accountability and digital transformation.
In addition, McFarlane said the board and King have decided that all group executive short-term variable rewards are cancelled for 2020 in recognition of collective accountability for the financial crimes that led to the AUSTRAC action last year.