Westpac has secured itself a new Chief Executive Officer, with the bank’s Chairman announcing this Thursday that Peter King has taken on the role. The appointment comes at a time when the bank is seeking management strength and stability amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
Explaining the appointment, John McFarlane, the Chairman of Westpac said in today’s statement: “I believe we need a Chief Executive in place now, not later, and with full, rather than acting authority. On my recommendation, the Board has appointed Peter King as CEO. Peter has agreed to do this for two years.”
“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.”
“He and I are also completely aligned on what needs to be done. He is the right person to take the company forward at the present time, and now has the full authority to make change and to see it through.”
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Peter King was Westpac acting CEO
King has been the acting CEO since December of last year. He has worked with the Australian bank for the past 25 years. During this time, he has been the bank’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), among other roles.
“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 regulators in supporting Australians and New Zealanders and our countries’ financial systems,” King added in the statement.
Banks have an important role to play amid COVID-19
Speaking on the current crisis that has brought the world to an almost standstill, McFarlane highlighted: “As a bank, we have an important role to play in the community at this critical time. We are responding appropriately and the decisions we are making now, and over coming weeks and months, will make a significant difference going forward.”
“However, given the impact of the Coronavirus on the economy and the level of uncertainty, while it is difficult to make a reasonable assessment of its potential impact at the moment, we expect to see a rise in our credit provisioning this year and probably beyond, which will be accelerated by recently implemented accounting standards. We are currently working through this and will update shareholders in due course.”