People's Choice names new CEO

People's Choice Credit Union has announced the appointment of a new chief executive officer.

The mutual lender has named Steve Laidlaw as the group’s new chief executive officer. Mr Laidlaw, who has been CFO and executive general manager corporate services of People’s Choice since November 2012, will commence duties as CEO from Monday 11 January 2016.

People’s Choice chairman John Cossons said the board was delighted at the appointment of Mr Laidlaw following an extensive and rigorous national executive search.

“Steve is a highly experienced senior executive with a passion, vision and commitment to the success of People’s Choice and the mutual sector,” Mr Cossons said.

“Steve’s strong commercial acumen and focus on improving member experience is demonstrated by his leadership of People’s Choice’s successful acquisition and integration of TIO’s banking operations, and his establishment of a sophisticated Business Performance Analytics function that has increased member retention and loan portfolio growth.

“These qualities, as well as Steve’s genuine commitment to People’s Choice’s values, stood out during our recruitment process, which generated significant interest from a very strong pool of candidates.”

Mr Laidlaw is a chartered accountant and Harvard Business School graduate with more than 20 years of people leadership and general management experience in retail banking and finance.

Before joining People’s Choice, Mr Laidlaw spent six years as chief financial officer of Rural Bank, now a part of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Group of Companies. He has also held executive roles with Skycity Entertainment Group and AWB.

“I am honoured to be given the opportunity to lead one of Australia’s largest and most successful mutual banking organisations,” Mr Laidlaw said.

“My focus will be to work closely with our executive team and more than 1,000 committed staff to fulfil our strategic goals: to be the preferred banking alternative, to grow our membership, to build a stronger credit union and to make a difference in the community.

“Being a credit union, our sole focus has always been to help our members get ahead, unlike the banks that focus on shareholder returns. That is not about to change.

“I am incredibly excited about our future, as we continue to work towards our vision to be acknowledged as the most trusted financial services provider in Australia for people and their communities,” Mr Laidlaw said.

Mr Cossons thanked Darlene Mattiske-Wood for her service as acting CEO over the past three months. She will return to her role as executive general manager people and culture in January.

[Related: Goldfields Money appoints new CEO]

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