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ASX-listed lender Auswide Bank Ltd has announced the appointment of current non-executive director Greg Kenny as interim managing director and CEO of the bank, effective 11 December.
His appointment followed the lender’s previous CEO and managing director Martin Barrett’s announcement that he intended to retire at the end of the year, effective 31 December.
Mr Kenny joined the bank’s board of directors in November 2013 bringing with him experience from an “extensive career with Westpac Banking Corporation and St.George Bank Ltd”, where he held the positions of managing director (NSW and ACT); general manager, corporate and business bank; and general manager, group treasury and capital.
The lender said Mr Kenny was appointed to the interim positions to help support the executive leadership team and ensure a “smooth transition and handover” for when Doug Snell commences as managing director and CEO of Auswide Bank permanently in 2024.
While there is no official date for Mr Snell’s commencement in the role, the non-major bank previously revealed that he would be “appointed as managing director and CEO of Auswide commencing no later than six months from 25 October 2023”.
The lender also confirmed that during Mr Kenny’s tenure as CEO and managing director, he will remain as a member of the board, but will step down as chair of the risk committee, with non-executive director Cameron Mitchell to take on the role.
The appointment of Mr Kenny followed retiring CEO Mr Barrett stating that he was “relieved” the bank did not offer cashbacks at the lender’s annual general meeting last month.
At the time, Mr Barrett commented that the constantly changing economic climate had led to increased customer activity in securing the best rates possible for home lending and deposits.
He noted: “The speed of change, record interest rate rises, cost-of-living pressures, and intense competition have tested our customer contentment on deposit and lending rates, hedging assumptions, expense and investment growth, and profitability of new lending.
“Competition has been fierce. I won’t call it the least rational I’ve seen, but it’s close and interestingly it’s mostly been driven by the big banks trying to recoup market share.
“Margin and cost pressures therefore have quickly become material headwinds.”
Mr Barrett added that the “home lending market does appear to be steadying, however, is yet to find equilibrium”, commenting that “new home lending margins have improved recently but are not at the levels they were in 2022”.
[Related: Auswide Bank selects new leadership]