National Australia Bank has chosen Ross McEwan as the new Chief Executive, as it looks to battle through the troubles and put the bad times behind.
Melbourne-based NAB, and Australia’s fourth-largest bank by assets has been in crisis for some time now. The bank has been charged almost A$100 Mn ($71 Mn) in fees to customers without providing them with any service- an abuse that was prolific across the finance industry. It also been accused that NAB counter staff in parts of Sydney accepted cash bribes in white envelopes to facilitate loans based on fake documents to hit sales targets.
In fact, a few months back in February, Chief Executive Andrew Thorburn resigned following stinging criticism of his leadership of the bank by a public inquiry into misconduct in the finance industry. Around the same time Ken Henry, NAB Chairman also announced that he would step down from the board when a new Chief Executive was appointed by the bank.
Now as the bank looks to reform reforming the culture and move beyond the difficult times, McEwan's role becomes even more critical.
The good news is that McEwan brings in years of experience and has recently completed one of the largest restructurings in UK corporate history and returned the taxpayer-owned bank, RBS to profitability.
"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,” said Philip Chronican, NAB’s Interim Chief Executive and Chairman-elect.
He was the Head of RBS and stepped down in April, this year. He had earned plaudits for returning RBS to profits and dividend payments after almost a decade without either following its £45 Bn bailout by the taxpayer during the 2008 financial crisis.
Now he faces the challenge of pulling back NAB from the slump. How he reforms NAB’s culture at such time of crisis will be interesting to follow. However, McEwan shall begin working as CEO for NAB not until April 2020, after he has fulfilled his current obligations with RBS. He will also be invited to join as NAB’s board of directors.
Image Credits: RBS