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Non-bank announces immediate retirement of chairman

Jon Denovan has been elected as the new independent chairman of the company as part of several recent appointments.

ASX-listed lender BNK Banking Corporation Limited (BNK) has revealed Jon Denovan has been elected as independent chairman of the company following the retirement of Don Koch, effective yesterday (18 September).

Mr Denovan takes on the role after having previously been BNK’s independent deputy chairman, with Mr Koch intending to remain on the board as a non-executive director until the conclusion of the company’s 2023 annual general meeting in November.

Having joined the BNK board in 2019, the company said the new chair was “a leading lawyer in financial services regulation, with significant banking, commercial and property experience”.

Mr Denovan acknowledged Mr Koch as he took over the role of chairman: “I’d also like to thank Don for leading a complete transformation of the company during his time as chairman. He has built a great platform to build on.”

BNK’s chief executive, Allan Savins, added: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Mr Koch for his significant contributions during his time at BNK and wish him well for the future.

“Don has overseen what has been a transformational period for BNK, which has undertaken an ambitious business model change to deliver sustainable profit growth.”

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It comes as the lender appointed Danny Davies as its new company secretary, effective yesterday (18 September), after Sophie Raven resigned to “focus on other opportunities”.

The lender stated Mr Davies “has over 20 years of legal and governance experience and provided governance and company secretarial services for many listed and non-listed Australian and international companies”.

Both appointments follow Judith Newman’s selection as an interim chief financial officer after the resignation of Andrew Kitchen on Friday (15 September).

Ms Newman will step into the interim role from her position as head of finance operations at the lender effective immediately while BNK finalises a permanent replacement for Mr Kitchen.

Having joined BNK in 2018, the lender said Ms Newman is a qualified chartered accountant with “over 35 years of experience across different industries”.

Regarding Mr Kitchen’s resignation, Mr Savins acknowledged his commitment and effort during his time with the bank.

He stated: “Andrew has been an important member of the BNK executive leadership team and has enhanced BNK’s financial management framework during his time with the company.

“The board and management team thank Andrew for his contribution to BNK and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

BNK has been growing in recent years. It exceeded its 15 per cent target of high-margin lending in the 2023 financial year but also achieved a loan book increase of 37 per cent.

However, the lender was also fined by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) in the previous financial year due to its failure to meet reporting obligations.

BNK received a $247,500 fine by APRA due to being 32 days late in submitting data required under the Economic and Financial Statistics program for the month ending on 28 February 2023.

At the time, BNK confirmed it was handed 18 infringement notices by the regulator regarding the overdue reporting and “accepts that the company failed to comply with reporting standards”.

[Related: BNK set to push further into higher-margin lending]

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