Saturday, 23 March, 2019

CBA promotes Comyn to replace Narev as CEO

Matt Comyn chair Catherine Livingstone and outgoing CEO Ian Narev. Image Supplied Matt Comyn chair Catherine Livingstone and outgoing CEO Ian Narev. Image Supplied
Russell Knight | 29 January, 2018, 13:28

Commonwealth Bank of Australia named retail banking boss Matt Comyn as its new chief executive officer, to lead the company as it faces challenging trading conditions as well as allegations of massive money laundering system breaches.

Mr. Comyn was selected from among a field of global and local candidates as the best positioned to address regulatory and reputational challenges, as well as a need to adapt to technology innovation and maintain the bank's growth momentum, Chairman Catherine Livingstone said.

"We believe he was the outstanding candidate, best placed to lead the bank at an important time in its history", Ms Livingstone said.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia admitted to a significant number of the breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws previous year and is the subject of an ongoing enquiry.

Ms Livingstone also paid tribute to Mr Narev, who she said had led CBA "during a period of great change".

Mr Comyn joined CBA in 1999 and was appointed head of retail banking services in 2012.

CBA, which has been looking for a new CEO since Mr Narev announced his retirement in August, said Mr Comyn will take charge on April 9.

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Ms Livingstone would not discuss AUSTRAC's Federal Court case in detail but said Mr Comyn was not exclusively responsible for any failings in the retail unit.

Mr Comyn's annual salary package includes a base pay of $2.2 million a year, with short-term incentives of up to another $2.2 million and long-term incentives of $4 million to be reviewed at the 2018 annual general meeting.

That means he could be paid as much as $8.36 million in the 2019 financial year.

Narev received A$8.77m in 2016 and A$5.71m in 2017, when the bank's executives forfeited short-term bonuses over AUSTRAC's allegations the bank failed to report suspicious transactions quickly enough.

"We regard this as an organisation-wide matter for which we all take collective responsibility", Livingstone said. He will be eligible for a short-term bonus of $2.2 million and a long term bonus of $3.96 million (180 per cent of his annual fixed remuneration).

CBA shares were 0.18 percent higher in early trading, in line with broader market gains of 0.25 percent.

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