TCorp director joins CBA board

Former Westpac Institutional Bank chief executive Robert Whitfield has joined the board of CBA as a non-executive director.

Robert Whitfield, currently a director of NSW Treasury Corporation, has been appointed to the CBA board as an independent non-executive director.

The bank has also announced the retirement of current CBA directors Launa Inman and Harrison Young, who will leave the bank at the conclusion of the AGM on 16 November.

Before working at TCorp, Mr Whitfield had a 30-year career with Westpac, including as chief executive of its institutional bank, chief risk officer and chairman of the Asia Advisory Board.

CBA chairman Catherine Livingstone said: "I am delighted to welcome Rob as a director of the board. Rob’s broad risk management and public sector experience, as well as his extensive banking experience, will deepen the board’s existing skills and expertise."

CBA to file money-laundering defence by 15 December

The Commonwealth Bank also confirmed today (4 September) orders received from the Federal Court in regards to its anti-money laundering compliance failures, revealed by AUSTRAC in early August.

The bank said in a statement: “The civil penalty proceedings initiated by AUSTRAC on 3 August 2017 against the Commonwealth Bank were listed for a directions hearing in the Federal Court today.

“The court ordered, with the consent of the parties, for Commonwealth Bank to file its defence to the proceedings by 15 December 2017 and for AUSTRAC to file a response by 16 March 2018.”

There will be a further directions hearing on 2 April 2018.

According to reports, the case will feature 174 “mini-trials”.

CBA will be represented by John Sheahan QC, who told the court: “There is not a long track record of litigation of this kind. Proceedings of this kind are unusually complex,” adding that CBA’s defence will need an “enormous amount of work”.

Mr Sheahan added: "Each [allegation] is like a mini-trial and a mini-investigation in itself."

Simon White, SC for AUSTRAC, is also reported as saying that it could take until early March for the financial intelligence agency to respond to CBA’s case as people key to the case may be on Christmas break.

Mr White said: "We expect the defence to be detailed and will raise a number of issues that will require a reply. It's difficult at this point in time to be more precise than that.

"Really, until we see the whites of their eyes, we can't really identify with any particularity what is the nature of the expert evidence it will require."

[Related: Bank executives could be subject to clawbacks]

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