A Queensland-based bank has announced two permanent appointments to its executive team.
Heritage Bank has made Dan Dredge its new chief operating officer and Stephen Owens its chief risk officer. Both had been acting in these roles since August 2019.
Mr Dredge, who grew up in Toowoomba, returned to the city in 2018 and joined Heritage as its head of corporate development in April 2018.
Prior to joining Heritage, the new COO had held a range of senior roles in strategy, financial markets, product management and sales leadership at banks, including Westpac and Suncorp.
The new CRO, Mr Owens, was most recently working as the head of operational risk and compliance at Heritage.
He had previously led risk and other teams for companies including RACQ Bank, BOQ, Aussie and Macquarie Capital.
Mr Owens was also the head of internal audit at Heritage in 2009.
Speaking of the appointments, Heritage CEO Peter Lock said: “We’re thrilled to appoint Dan and Steve to permanent positions in our executive team. As internal appointments, we know they understand our customer-owned structure and buy into Heritage’s ‘people first’ mantra,” he said.
“They did great jobs in their interim roles, and their performances gave us the confidence that they were the right people for the positions long-term.
“In these uncertain economic times, it’s great to know we have added two experienced and pragmatic leaders in these key executive positions. They will help ensure Heritage provides great products and services for our customers into the future.”
Speaking of his permanent appointment to the senior executive team, Mr Dredge said: “Every day is a different challenge, with change the only constant, which is an environment I really enjoy. This gives me an opportunity to learn and grow every day I come to work. The next few years will be one of great transformation for Heritage, and I’m looking forward to working with the team throughout this change.”
Meanwhile, Mr Owens commented: “I am extremely grateful to Heritage for providing me with what is a fantastic opportunity and challenge.
“I am truly excited about what lies ahead. There will be significant challenges, none more so than the pandemic situation we currently face; however, I am confident in my team’s ability and know I have the support of the senior executive group to be successful.
“I have always said coming back to Heritage after a few years away has been like reclaiming my soul. It’s a fabulous company with a great culture and leadership team, and with a core focus on member value.”
As well as announcing the new appointments, the bank has also confirmed its stance on how it will treat loans falling under its COVID-19 relief plan.
As previously reported, Heritage Bank’s support package for customers affected by the coronavirus includes:
- deferring scheduled loan repayments on a case-by-case basis
- waiving of fees associated with restructuring of loans, as needed
- waiving or refunding fees incurred because COVID-19 pandemic impacts have made it impossible for customers to meet requirements of their accounts (i.e. missed payments)
- early redemption on term deposits and farm deposit management accounts for customers impacted by the pandemic, without fees or penalties.
The bank has now confirmed that it will not treat these loans as being in arrears.
A spokesperson told The Adviser: “In line with regulator guidance, repayment deferrals implemented in response to COVID-19 are not to be classified as arrears and will not result in a default during the deferral period, so will have no impact on a credit score.
“In addition, Heritage currently is not a participant in the comprehensive credit reporting scheme, and so from a credit reporting perspective, only a default would result in a negative entry on a client’s credit report.”
[Related: Non-majors announce loan relief packages]