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NAB makes executive appointment

by Malavika Santhebennur10 minute read
NAB makes executive appointment

The major bank has appointed a former Royal Bank of Scotland executive as its new chief operating officer.

National Australia Bank (NAB) has announced the appointment of former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) CEO, personal and business banking, Les Matheson as its new chief operating officer (COO).

Mr Matheson will join NAB on 11 January 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.

As COO, Mr Matheson will be responsible for NAB’s digital division, UBank, as well as group marketing, corporate affairs, and other key strategic initiatives.


Commenting on Mr Matheson’s appointment, NAB CEO Ross McEwan said: “Les is a globally experienced banker, and I am very pleased he is joining NAB.

“During our time working together in the UK, he demonstrated his deep knowledge of what it means to really deliver for customers and colleagues. This experience and the strong leadership Les brings will be important as we look to grow our bank safely and earn the trust and respect of customers and the broader community.

“His appointment completes my executive leadership team. I look forward to working with Les and all our colleagues at NAB to get on with the job of supporting our customers.”

Speaking about his new role at NAB, Mr Matheson said: “I’m very pleased to be returning to Australia and joining NAB. This is a terrific opportunity to work with Ross and his team to deliver on NAB’s refreshed strategy and ambition to serve customers well and help our communities prosper. That’s what good banks should do.”

Mr Matheson started his career at Procter & Gamble in brand management in the UK, and joined the RBS in 2010 as managing director, retail products, and added marketing a year later. He was appointed as the CEO of personal and business banking in 2014. In 2015, he was also given responsibility for the Ulster Bank in Ireland.

Prior to this, he held various executive roles at Citi, including group CEO Central Asia, Citigroup country officer Australia and CEO Citibank (retail) Australia.

Mr Matheson was the deputy chairman of the Australian Bankers Association between 2003 and 2008, as well as deputy chair of the FCA’s Practitioner Panel (UK), a director of Visa Europe and a past member of the Edinburgh University Court.

Mr McEwan has announced various leadership appointments at NAB in 2020, including Rachel Slade as group executive, personal banking (replacing former head of retail Mike Baird), and Nathan Goonan to group executive, strategy and innovation.

NAB also appointed Andrew Irvine to the role of group executive, business and private banking (who replaced former chief customer officer, business and private banking, Anthony Healy).

[Related: NAB announces executive leadership appointment]

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