Yianna Papanikolaou will be responsible for major change and investment programs and accountability for the CORE (Customer Outcomes and Risk Excellence) program, which was expanded following past regulatory issues.
In December 2020, Westpac entered into an enforceable undertaking (EU) after the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) found a number of deficiencies in its risk governance management, which resulted in a number of reforms.
The CORE program was part of these reforms and involves 327 activities including a risk management framework, organisational design and a culture that removes bureaucracy and makes it safe to speak up.
Chief executive Peter King said continuing to transform culture and risk management remains a “major focus for the Group” and the CORE program was an “integral part” of this plan.
Ms Papanikolaou recently joined Westpac as general manager of the group transformation office and brings a “wealth of global experience”, Mr King said.
Until now, the CORE was the domain of Westpac group executive for financial crime and compliance Les Vance, however he is set to leave later this year as announced in the bank’s quarterly results.
The big four bank announced in February it would slash its head office role by around 20 per cent to form a smaller head office and two new divisions: corporate services; and customer services & technology.
Ms Papanikolaou is expected to start the new role in late April subject to regulatory approvals.
Before Westpac, Ms Papanikolaou was at Deutsche Bank in the UK, where she held several leadership positions, most recently as managing director, chief transformation office.
Prior to this, she was at Royal Bank of Scotland, as head of strategy and transformation for the corporate bank.
Earlier in her career she was part of Accenture’s Financial Services consulting practice. Ms Papanikolaou has worked in Europe, the US and Asia.
[Related: Westpac restructures exec team]