Westpac CEO to resign

Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer will resign from his position following an AUSTRAC investigation that alleged the bank breached money laundering laws 23 million times.

Mr Hartzer will step down on 2 December. Current chief financial officer Peter King will take over as acting CEO until a new CEO can be found.

"The board accepts the gravity of the issues raised by AUSTRAC," chairman Lindsay Maxsted said in a media release.

"As was appropriate, we sought feedback from all our stakeholders including shareholders and having done so it became clear that board and management changes were in the best interest of the bank."

Mr Hartzer has repeatedly denied claims by AUSTRAC that he and senior management were indifferent to the breaches, but appears to have changed tack.

"As CEO I accept that I am ultimately accountable for everything that happens at the bank," Mr Hartzer said in a media release. 

"And it is clear that we have fallen well short of what the community expects of us, and we expect of ourselves."

Mr Hartzer will be paid his fixed remuneration of $2.86 million, but will forego his short-term variable reward for FY2019. He also is ineligible to receive it in FY20 or FY21.

Earlier this month, Mr Hartzer expressed "regret" that Westpac exited financial advice due to it being unprofitable for a long time.

In March, Westpac announced it would leave face-to-face financial advice in BT Financial Group and move the businesses into the consumer and business divisions.

Westpac CEO to resign
ifa logo

Subscribe to the ifa bulletin

Receive daily online news,analysis, reports and business strategies
By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real time and stay up to date with content that matters to you.