The Chairman of the Australian Bankers’ Association, Andrew Thorburn, today announced the appointment of Anna Bligh to lead the ABA as it continues its work to strengthen trust and confidence in banking and deliver better outcomes for customers.
“We are excited to appoint Anna as Chief Executive Officer at such a pivotal time for our industry,” Mr Thorburn said.
“Anna’s focus will firmly be on the culture within banking and lifting respect for our profession; creating a strong vision for customers and on how our industry responds and leads on regulatory reform.
“As I’ve met with Anna I’ve seen the leadership, values and accountability she will bring to the role – and a willingness to confront and challenge the industry to continually improve.
“Anna has a track record of community service and a strong ability to connect with people. She is highly regarded and respected by community, political and business leaders and understands the need for all stakeholders to work together to deliver the best outcome for customers.”
Mr Thorburn added: “Australia has a world-class banking system and there is more we can do to be better for customers and demonstrate the role banks play for them, the broader community and the Australian economy.
“We have also heard the message from customers and from the public, and the industry is serious about change. The appointment of Anna demonstrates our commitment to this.”
Ms Bligh has more than 30 years’ experience in public service, initially with community organisations, before entering the Queensland Parliament in 1995. She held ministerial responsibilities for a number of portfolios including Education and Finance, and served as Treasurer and Deputy Premier before becoming Premier from 2007-2012.
She holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of Queensland and Griffith University and the National Emergency Services Medal for her service during the Queensland floods in 2011. Ms Bligh was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in the Australia Day honours in 2017.
Ms Bligh is currently the Chief Executive Officer at YWCA New South Wales, a role she has held for the past three years. During that time she has worked with vulnerable and financially disadvantaged Australians.
Ms Bligh said: “Our banks are critical to the strength and stability of our national economy and the prosperity and well-being of every Australian. We all rely on our bank for the most important financial decisions of our lives, so we want a system that is open, fair and trustworthy.
“I am excited by this opportunity to lead and shape the reforms needed to strengthen public trust and confidence in our banking system.”
Ms Bligh, who becomes the ABA’s first female CEO, will commence in the role on 3 April. She replaces Steven Münchenberg, who announced in October last year that he was stepping down after almost seven years as CEO.
Mr Münchenberg will finish with the ABA on 14 April, to enable a transition to Ms Bligh.
“On behalf of the membership and Council of the ABA, I want to thank Steven for his commitment and strong leadership as the industry navigated through a rapidly changing political, regulatory and economic environment following the global financial crisis,” Mr Thorburn said.
“Steven is a total professional who has worked tirelessly during what have been challenging times for our industry. We have a stronger foundation to build on thanks to Steven and his team.”