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Bank chair retires, successor appointed

Auswide Bank has announced that its chairman will retire at the end of the year, with a new successor named to replace him.

Non-executive director and chairman of Auswide Bank, John Humphrey, will retire from his position on 31 December 2020, the bank has announced.

Mr Humphrey – who has been chairman of the bank since before it changed its name to Auswide Bank – will hand over to non-executive director Sandra Birkensleigh. Ms Birkensleigh is currently chair of the audit committee, a member of the remuneration committee and a member of the risk committee. On her appointment as chair, Ms Birkensleigh will step down as chair of the audit committee.

Auswide Bank’s managing director, Martin Barrett, commented: “John has served Auswide Bank and its shareholders for nearly 13 years, becoming a director in February 2008 and chairman post the 2009 annual general meeting.

“During that time, he played a pivotal role in leading Auswide post the global financial crisis. John oversaw the transition of the management team from founding CEO Ron Hancock and provided valuable guidance as Auswide underwent significant transformation, obtaining its banking licence and achieving material growth.

“On behalf of the board, staff and shareholders, I thank John for his outstanding leadership and strategic direction and wish him well in the future.”

Chairman John Humphrey said: “In the five years since she became a director, Sandra has made an important contribution to the bank, and I have no doubt that Auswide will continue to achieve profitable growth in the coming years under her leadership.”

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Commenting on her appointment, Ms Birkensleigh said: “I am delighted to become chair of Auswide Bank at a time when the company is performing strongly despite the challenging circumstances created by the pandemic. Auswide will continue to focus on driving profitable growth, building digital capability and providing enhanced service to our customers across Australia.”

Grant Murdoch will replace Ms Birkensleigh as chair of the audit committee on 1 January 2021. He is a chartered accountant with over 37 years of experience and has previously served as a partner with both Ernst & Young and Deloitte, with experience in providing advice on corporate restructures and merges and acquisitions.

[Related: Bank introduces digital signatures]

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