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Westpac has permanently appointed long-serving Peter King as chief executive on a two year contract.

Mr King had been chief financial officer prior to being chosen as acting chief executive in November, when former boss Brian Hartzer stepped aside amid the bank’s money laundering and child exploitation scandal.

The appointment comes a day after new chiarman John Mcfarlane took the reins from Lindsay Maxsted, who had brought forward his retirement to March 31.

Mr King said he was focused on responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and supporting customers.

Mr King has worked at Westpac for 25 years.