SYDNEY, Aug 14 — Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Chief Executive Officer Ian Narev will retire by the end of the 2018 financial year as the nation’s largest lender seeks to mitigate the fallout from a money-laundering scandal.
Chairman Catherine Livingstone said in a statement the board was detailing its succession plan to “provide certainty for the business.”
The exact timing of Narev’s departure will depend on the search for a successor, with the board looking at both internal and external candidates.
Pressure is building on Commonwealth Bank amid allegations by the nation’s financial crimes agency that drug syndicates used its network of deposit machines to launder cash, despite warnings from police. It is the third major public-relations scandal Narev, 50, has faced during his almost six years in the job.
Commonwealth Bank has blamed many of the alleged breaches on a software coding error, but also acknowledged other mistakes were made.
Narev, whose short-term bonus for the past financial year was cut, said last week he didn’t intend to resign.
Livingstone said succession planning was an “ongoing process” and that following discussions with Narev it was agreed it was “important for the business that we deal with the speculation and questions about his tenure.”
“Today’s statement provides that clarity and will ensure he can continue to focus, as CEO, on successfully managing the business,” she said. — Bloomberg