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Westpac CEO to step down

By Lachlan Maddock
 — 1 minute read

Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer will step down following an AUSTRAC investigation that alleged the bank breached money laundering laws 23 million times.

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>Mr Hartzer will step down on 2 December 2. 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 financial year 2019. He also is ineligible to receive it in FY20 or FY21.

 

 

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Westpac CEO to step down
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