Embattled Westpac announced Tuesday the appointment of Les Vance to the new role of group executive, financial crime, compliance and conduct. Vance will be responsible for overseeing the group’s financial crime, compliance, and conduct management.
The appointment comes one month after the Australia-based financial institution disclosed it had set aside AUS$900 million (U.S. $570 million) for a potential fine with Australian enforcement authorities related to a money-laundering scandal and for allegations of facilitating child exploitation in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
The company said Vance’s appointment “reflects the group’s commitment to increase its focus on these areas” and allows Chief Risk Officer David Stephen “to focus on the financial risk management of the organization, particularly the credit portfolio, given the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Vance is currently the chief operating officer of the company’s Consumer Division and has over 25 years’ executive experience across line management, transformation and program delivery, operations, and risk and governance.
In addition, Consumer Chief Executive David Lindberg and Chief Information Officer Craig Bright are leaving to take up new roles overseas. An international search is underway for their replacements.
Westpac’s leadership team has undergone several changes over the past few months. The allegations it faces ultimately resulted in the November resignation of Chief Executive Officer Brian Hartzer and the early retirement of Westpac Group Chairman Lindsay Maxsted. On April 2, Westpac announced the appointment of Peter King as its new CEO.