​NAB swaps out acting chief tech as search continues

National Australia Bank has shuffled Matt Lawrance into the acting chief technology and operations officer role as Bob Melrose takes on the Retail Banking executive general manager position.

National Australia Bank (NAB) has made some additional changes to its executive team while it continues to search for a permanent chief technology and operations officer.

The bank has appointed Matt Lawrance as the acting chief technology and operations officer, a position formerly held by Bob Melrose, who has now been permanently moved into the Retail Banking executive general manager role. Melrose will report to Andrew Hagger, Consumer Banking and Wealth Management chief customer officer, in his new role.

Lawrance is currently NAB's Wealth Operations executive general manager, and has been with the company since 2005 having held a number of senior roles across divisions including Wealth and Finance.

In the new acting role, Lawrance will be responsible for technology and operations, formerly known as enterprise services and transformation. Within this portfolio, the bank has added operating functions of the non-life wealth management business.

The changes come following the bank's reshuffle of its organisational structure and leadership team at the end of July.

NAB Group CEO Andrew Thorburn said the changes are part of the bank's "next stage of organisational change", given it has been two years since the team started addressing legacy issues.

"These changes will bring greater momentum and energy to NAB's goal of creating a simpler, more customer-focused organisation that delivers better outcomes for customers as well as shareholder returns," he said.

"We have had a very clear plan over the last two years, and have taken the action required to execute that plan. We have made progress, our customers are noticing the positive changes, and our staff engagement score is the highest it has ever been, but we need to do better. This new organisational structure will enable us to continue the pace of change while providing greater clarity for our customers and our people."

In May, the bank reported cash earnings of the first half results for the 2016 financial year came in 6.5 percent higher than the previous corresponding year at AU$3.31 billion and underlying profit of AU$5.1 billion, a 2.7 percent increase year on year.

As a result of the technology enhancements during the half year, NAB said it made incremental productivity savings during the 1H15 of AU$89 million, and is on target of reaching ongoing annual savings of approximately AU$150 million per annum.

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