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Head of scandal-hit Comm Bank to "retire"

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Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ian Narev will retire by the end of June next year after Australia’s largest bank was accused of breaching money-laundering and terrorism-financing laws.

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CEO Ian Narev to retire by end of FY18

 

Narev has led CBA to a series of record annual profits since taking charge in 2011 but has been under pressure since Australia’s financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC accused CBA of breaching money laundering and terrorism financing laws.

He already has had his short-term bonus for the 2017 financial year slashed as a result of the scandal, but chairman Catherine Livingstone on Monday said the New Zealander will now “retire” before the end of the 2018 financial year.

“In discussions with Ian, we have … agreed it is important for the business that we deal with the speculation and questions about his tenure,” chairman Catherine Livingstone said in a statement to the ASX.

“Today’s statement provides that clarity and will ensure he can continue to focus, as CEO, on successfully managing the business.”

Livingstone said the exact timing of Narev’s departure was dependent on the outcome of an internal and external search process that has already begun.

CBA last week announced an eighth straight record annual profit of $9.9 billion, but the news was overshadowed by the AUSTRAC allegations.

Corporate watchdog ASIC is investigating Commonwealth Bank’s response to the allegations for any breach of the Corporations Act and whether the lender met its continuous disclosure obligations.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission chairman Greg Medcraft last week said CBA should have alerted ASIC in 2015 when it first learnt of a problem in its cash deposit machines that has led to a case being filed by Australia’s financial intelligence agency in the Federal Court.

– AAP

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