January 22, 2020 / 8:56 AM / a month ago

Australia's Westpac to appoint McFarlane as chairman - AFR

Jan 22 (Reuters) - Westpac Banking Corp is set to appoint former Australia and New Zealand Banking Group chief executive John McFarlane to succeed chairman Lindsay Maxsted, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported here on Wednesday.

Maxsted, who served as Westpac’s chairman for eight years, said in November he would retire in the first half of 2020 after the bank was embroiled in a money laundering scandal involving child exploitation.

Financial crime watchdog AUSTRAC filed a lawsuit against Westpac in November, accusing the country’s No. 2 lender of enabling 23 million payments in breach of money laundering laws.

The scandal saw Chief Executive Brian Hartzer step down after more than seven years with the company, while Maxsted said he would retire in early 2020, sooner than planned.

The AFR said Westpac will announce the appointment on Thursday morning. Westpac did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Finance industry veteran McFarlane, 72, was chief executive of ANZ for 10 years until 2007, and stepped down as the chairman of British banking giant Barclays PLC last year.

Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru

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