COBA chair Wendy Machin welcomed him to the “pivotal role” he would play in representing customer-owned banking, according to a statement.
“Michael’s strong background and experience as a leader will enable him to immediately take up a busy advocacy agenda,” Ms Machin said.
“Michael has already shown a great understanding of the issues and opportunities for the sector.”
Mr Lawrence, who will commence his role on 4 December, said he was delighted to join the association as its new chief executive.
“The customer-owned banking sector has a great deal to be proud of, particularly with its strong customer and community focus,” he said.
“I look forward to advocating strongly for the sector and ensuring it continues to have a vibrant and strong future.
“Customer-owned banking already delivers terrific outcomes for millions of Australians.
“I’m very keen to help COBA members deliver on their exciting plans for growth in the future and within a competitive environment.”