CommBank CIO Whiteing to leave in executive refresh

Three senior executives will depart the Commonwealth Bank of Australia prior to the bank's new CEO taking the reins next month.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Group executive of Enterprise Services and chief information officer David Whiteing is among the casualties of an executive reshuffle at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) that will see the CIO leave in the coming months.

Joining Whiteing in departing the bank will be the group executives for HR, and institutional banking.

"Leadership transitions are inevitably a time of change in senior teams, as executives reassess their own plans and the bank prepares for its future. Today, we are announcing the departure of three high-calibre executives who have contributed significantly to CBA," departing CEO Ian Narev said on Monday.

Narev's own departure was announced in August, amid the start of the bank's problems with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac). Austrac initiated civil penalty proceedings that month, and alleged that the bank had "serious and systemic non-compliance" with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006.

Austrac detailed 53,700 alleged breaches of the Act, which included failing to hand 53,506 threshold transaction reports (TTRs) for cash transactions over AU$10,000 to Austrac through intelligent deposit machines (IDMs) for almost three years between November 2012 and September 2015.

The bank in December admitted that disparate datasets contributed to a contravention of the Act.

CBA faces a maximum penalty of AU$18 million for each of the contraventions if found guilty; however, the bank last month said it has provided for a civil penalty of AU$375 million.

"The group believes this to be a reliable estimate of the level of penalty that a court may impose," the bank wrote in its half-year results as it posted almost AU$5 billion in after-tax profit. "This takes into account currently available information, including legal advice received by the group in relation to Austrac's claims."

The write-down is included in the bank's H1 profit.

"We recognise, and regret, that these costs arise from our failure to meet some standards that we should have. We will continue to work hard to do better," Narev said at the time.

In January, it was announced that retail banking services group executive Matt Comyn would be moved into the CEO role. Comyn is set to take up the position on April 9.

"As incoming CEO, I am focused on building an executive leadership team that will work to exceed the expectations of our customers, the community, and regulators; rebuild the trust and pride in our bank; and enhance the financial wellbeing of every customer we serve," Comyn said on Monday.

Comyn said the bank has begun its search for replacement executives, and the search for his own replacement continues.

Whiteing became CommBank CIO in June 2014, following the departure of Michael Harte to Barclays.

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