Australia's AMP appoints RBA audit committee member to board

Dec 11 (Reuters) - Australia’s AMP Limited on Wednesday appointed Reserve Bank of Australia’s audit committee member, Rahoul Chowdry, to the wealth manager’s board as a non-executive director, effective Jan. 1.

Chowdry’s appointment will “bring valuable insight to the board as the industry navigates increasing regulatory, governance and risk requirements”, AMP Chairman David Murray said in statement.

Australia’s financial sector has come under intense regulatory scrutiny after the financial regulator in November accused Westpac Banking Corp of breaching anti-money laundering laws, including enabling payments to child sex offenders.

The chairman, CEO and compliance chief of Australia’s oldest and second-largest bank have quit since the bombshell disclosure three weeks ago.

AMP added that Peter Varghese, who held positions as a non-executive director on the boards of AMP Bank and AMP Capital Holdings, will retire from the board at the end of his current term on May 8, 2020.

The company in August posted its biggest half-year loss since its listing, and withheld dividend for the first time, in the aftermath of a finance sector inquiry that found the company had wrongfully charged fees and had attempted to mislead the regulators for years.

AMP lost its CEO, chair and several board members over the last year on accusations of doctoring a supposedly independent report to a regulator. (Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)