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Westpac board member steps down

An independent, non-executive director has stepped down from the board of the major bank, effective immediately.

Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) has confirmed that board member Michael (Mike) Hawker AM stepped down from his role as independent, non-executive director on Saturday (15 July).

Mr Hawker first joined the major bank board in December 2020 and has served as a member of the board’s risk committee as well as on its technology, nominations & governance and legal, regulatory, and compliance committees.

Prior to joining Westpac, Mr Hawker held several high-profile positions, including chief executive and managing director of Insurance Australia Group from 2001–08.

Over his 35-year career in financial services, he has also worked in senior roles at Westpac, having been the group executive, business and consumer banking from 1998–2001.

Mr Hawker was also executive director of Citibank International in Europe and deputy managing director of Citibank in Australia and has previously been a director at Macquarie Bank.

Speaking of his departure, Mr Hawker said: “I am thankful for the opportunity to sit on the Westpac board and wish the company every success for the future.”

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Westpac chairman John McFarlane thanked Mr Hawker for his contribution to Westpac”, stating: I’ve worked with Mike for many years, including at Aviva and Citi, and have always valued the insights and integrity he has brought to every conversation.”

The major bank board has been undergoing some renewal recently, with Audette Exel AO commencing as chair of the board risk committee last year after Peter Marriott retired from the role.

Ms Exel carries more than 35 years of experience in global financial services, both in senior executive and non-executive director roles spanning banking, corporate advice, and regulatory bodies.

Westpac also recently revealed that it had appointed Luci Ellis, the assistant governor (economic) at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), as its chief economist.

Ms Ellis will take up the position from Bill Evans on 9 October 2023.
Its current chief economist, Mr Evans, will step into the role of senior economic adviser.
CEO Peter King said: “Luci is a highly qualified and respected economist who will build on Bill’s legacy of providing quality economic forecasts for Westpac customers.”

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