Anna Bligh, former premier of Queensland, has been announced as the new chief executive of the Australian Bankers’ Association.
In a statement, ABA chair and NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn announced the new appointment, saying that Ms Bligh will be concerned with raising “respect for [the banking] profession” and shaping how the lobby group “responds and leads on regulatory reform”.
“Anna’s focus will firmly be on the culture within banking and lifting respect for our profession; creating a strong vision for customers and on how our industry responds and leads on regulatory reform,” Mr Thorburn said.
“As I’ve met with Anna I’ve seen the leadership, values and accountability she will bring to the role – and a willingness to confront and challenge the industry to continually improve.
“Anna has a track record of community service and a strong ability to connect with people. She is highly regarded and respected by community, political and business leaders, and understands the need for all stakeholders to work together to deliver the best outcome for customers.”
Ms Bligh held the finance and education portfolios as a minister in Queensland, before becoming state treasurer, deputy premier and premier.
She is currently the chief executive officer at YWCA New South Wales, a role she has held for the past three years.
Ms Bligh said: “Our banks are critical to the strength and stability of our national economy and the prosperity and wellbeing of every Australian. We all rely on our bank for the most important financial decisions of our lives, so we want a system that is open, fair and trustworthy.
“I am excited by this opportunity to lead and shape the reforms needed to strengthen public trust and confidence in our banking system.”
Ms Bligh, who becomes the ABA’s first female CEO, will commence in the role on 3 April. She replaces Steven Münchenberg, who announced in October last year that he was stepping down after almost seven years as CEO.
Mr Münchenberg will finish with the ABA on 14 April, to enable a transition to Ms Bligh.
“On behalf of the membership and council of the ABA, I want to thank Steven for his commitment and strong leadership as the industry navigated through a rapidly changing political, regulatory and economic environment following the global financial crisis,” Mr Thorburn said.
“Steven is a total professional who has worked tirelessly during what have been challenging times for our industry. We have a stronger foundation to build on thanks to Steven and his team.”
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