Penny-pinching NAB reshuffles execs
The National Australia Bank has unveiled a major overhaul of its top executive ranks, as part of a plan to lift performance and cut $800 million a year in costs.
After a disappointing year for the bank in 2012, chief executive Cameron Clyne today said it would focus on simplifying its product range and technology, giving customers more flexibility in how they banked.
He also revealed sweeping management changes, including the retirement of its executive director of finance, Mark Joiner.
Mr Joiner had been the target of investor frustration over NAB’s poor performance, receiving a 17 per cent vote against this reappointment to the board at NAB’s annual general meeting in December.
Steve Tucker, the head of NAB’s wealth arm MLC, is also stepping down after 25 years with the company, to be replaced by Andrew Hagger.
In other changes, Rick Sawers, who now runs the wholesale bank, will be appointed to a new role as the group executive in charge of product and markets. This position will involve simplifying the bank’s product range.
Retail banking boss Lisa Gray has been moved to a role in charge of enterprise services and transformation, with responsibilities for cutting duplication at the bank.
Gavin Slater, who has been in charge of a technology overhaul at the bank, will take on responsibility for personal banking.
The changes come after investors were increasingly frustrated at NAB’s poor performance in 2012, with profits hit by its troubled UK banking business.
Mr Clyne said the strategic changes would save the bank $800 million a year in five years time, and would allow more self-service by customers.
“The changes announced today, combined with continued investment in the business of over $1 billion per annum, will reduce complexity and duplication across NAB, provide a better, simpler and easier-to-access product suite, provide more straight-through processing as well as ensure the more effective use of data and analytics to provide the right solutions for customers at the right time,” Mr Clyne said.
Despite some speculation the bank would announce heavy job cuts today, it has not referred to a reduction in staff numbers in its announcement to investors.
Mr Clyne has told the Finance Sector Union the bank would refrain from heavy job shedding.
The bank will undertake and internal and external search for a replacement for Mr Joiner, to retire by the end of this year.
“Mark has played an integral role in steering the bank through a challenging period in banking, as well as providing great strategic vision. His energy and advice will be greatly missed,” Mr Clyne said.