The chief executive officer of ME Bank, Jamie McPhee, is to step down from his position at the end of July after handing in his resignation.
The bank’s chief financial officer, Adam Crane, has agreed to take on the role of acting CEO while the board searches for a permanent replacement.
Outgoing CEO thanked for his ‘significant contribution’
Announcing the move, ME Bank chairman James Evans thanked the outgoing CEO for his “significant contribution to the bank over the last 10 and a half years, transforming the scale and extent of ME’s retail offering to customers”.
Mr Evans noted that ME had grown its customer numbers from 234,000 to 542,000, and its assets by 50 per cent to almost $30 billion in recent years.
“Importantly, Jamie has steered the bank through significant change in the industry and the macroeconomic environment.
“Jamie leaves with our thanks and best wishes for the future,” Mr Evans said, adding that Mr McPhee’s resignation would take effect from the end of July.
Mr McPhee said the “timing was right” for both him and the bank – adding that he was “looking forward to taking some time out before considering what I want to do next”.
Mr McPhee commented: “In deciding to call time, I know the bank is in a strong position financially and is well placed for the future, but that the industry challenges ahead and resulting need for change will require a long-term commitment.
“After 10 and a half years as CEO, I believe now is the best time to hand over the reins to give ownership of the bank’s post-COVID strategy development and long-term execution to a new CEO.”
He continued: “It has been a privilege to lead the bank and to deliver on our purpose and promise to help Australians get ahead. I am proud to have developed the bank and its offering, as it has grown in relevance, giving Australians a genuine personal banking alternative.
“It has been a pleasure to have led such an outstanding team, one that really cares for our customers, and am pleased that the team’s commitment and hard work has been recognised by the many awards received for our products and services.”
The policy decision was met with backlash from customers, brokers and the broader community.
In response, ME announced that it would review its decision in consultation with affected customers before revealing that it had decided to “change back” home loan redraw limits for any customers who wish to opt out.
Following on from the controversy, Mr McPhee was called before the House of Representatives standing committee on economics for “an urgent public hearing” into the matter.
Appearing before the committee on Thursday, 14 May, Mr McPhee acknowledged that while the decision was “poorly communicated”, he believed the bank made the right call.
“We absolutely believe that the decision we made was the right decision, because we want to [make] sure people don’t inadvertently overcommit,” he said.
“We think it’s the right decision, poorly communicated.”
[Related: ME Bank CEO stands by redraw decision]
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Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.