NAB has appointed former Commonwealth Bank retail boss Ross McEwan as chief executive and managing director following a five-month search for Andrew Thorburn’s successor.
Mr McEwan, who led CBA’s retail operations between 2007 and 2012, quit as chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland three months ago and will join NAB as soon as he has fulfilled his outstanding obligations to the UK bank.
NAB said on Friday that will be no later than April next year.
Mike Baird, who in 2017 joined NAB as an executive just six weeks after resigning as NSW Premier, was initially rumoured to be among the candidates for the role but NAB opted for an external appointment as it seeks to restore its tattered reputation.
Phil Chronican has led NAB on an interim basis since Mr Thorburn quit after being criticised in the financial services royal commission’s final report.
“Ross McEwan is the ideal leader for NAB as we seek to transform our operations and culture firmly around leading customer service, experience and products,” Mr Chronican said.
“Ross brings a compelling range of experience across finance, insurance and investment with a track record of delivering important and practical improvements for customers.”
Mr McEwan took charge of RBS in 2013 after a year in charge of its retail operations, immediately waiving his annual bonus for the first two financial years as the lender prepared to announce a fifth straight annual loss.
RBS, which had needed government support during the GFC, had also made billions of pounds of provisions for various issues including mis-selling payment protection insurance.
“RBS has been through many of the same challenges which NAB now faces around culture, trust and reputation,” Mr Chronican said.
Mr McEwan led CBA’s retail operations for five years until 2012, departing shortly after fellow New Zealand-born banker Ian Narev was promoted to CEO.