June 28, 2019 / 12:24 AM / 20 days ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's CBA creates new executive role to help regain trust

(Recasts, adds details on appointments, background)

June 28 (Reuters) - Commonwealth Bank of Australia said on Friday it has created a new senior executive role to oversee marketing and corporate affairs, as it looks to regain customer trust and restore its reputation.

Rocked by a year-long Royal Commission inquiry that looked into wrongdoing in the financial sector, CBA and other top firms are trying to improve their public image with a focus on putting customers ahead of profits.

CBA chief executive Matt Comyn said the bank has separated the roles of General Counsel and head of Corporate Affairs, setting up the new position of Group Executive Marketing and Corporate Affairs.

The role would be filled from Aug. 1 by Priscilla Sims Brown, currently the head of a U.S. digital healthcare start-up and a former chief marketing officer at Axa Financial in the United States.

The separate position would “allow for greater focus on how we engage with our customers, stakeholders, and the broader community,” Comyn said in a statement. “Priscilla’s appointment will help us continue the changes and improvements we need to make to earn the trust of our customers and the community,” he said.

CBA said following the retirement of Anna Lenahan as Group General Counsel and Group Executive Corporate Affairs on June 30, Deputy CEO David Cohen would take over as Group General Counsel and Governance on an interim basis.

A permanent Group Counsel appointment is expected to be made soon and both the roles would directly report to Comyn, CBA said.

In 2017, CBA faced money laundering charges from Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, which later cost the bank A$700 million ($491 million) in record penalties towards settlement of civil proceedings. ($1 = 1.4269 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)

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