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Westpac NZ appoints former ASB executive Catherine McGrath as its new CEO

Westpac NZ appoints former ASB executive Catherine McGrath as its new CEO

Catherine McGrath, a Kiwi who has recently returned from a job at Barclays in London, has been named new CEO of Westpac New Zealand.

McGrath pictured above, succeeds David McLean, who departed in June, and was presumably chosen over the bank's acting CEO, Simon Power.

In a statement, Westpac Group CEO Peter King says McGrath was most recently Head of Channels for Barclays Group, having held several senior leadership roles at Barclays since 2013.

At Barclays she led open banking implementation and the development of community banking.

McGrath has previously worked at BNZ and Lloyds TSB. Additionally she was an executive at ASB between 2010 and 2012. (Here's a video interview McGrath did with in 2010 when she was ASB's chief executive of customers, markets and products).

McGrath is scheduled to start as CEO on November 15, subject to regulatory approvals in both Australia and New Zealand. Power, a former cabinet minister, will continue as Acting CEO until then, before returning to his role as General Manager for Institutional and Business Banking.

McGrath describes the appointment as a great privilege.

"Westpac New Zealand is a strong and trusted brand, with a clear focus on customers and community. I am excited by the opportunity ahead and the role we can play in supporting New Zealand,” says McGrath.

King thanked Power for acting in the role while Westpac undertook a global search.

Below is a McGrath biography supplied by Westpac.

Ms McGrath joined the Barclays Group in London in 2013. During that time she held a number of executive roles with her most recent role being Head of Channels.

In this role she oversaw a division of 16,000 people, with accountability for all channels, including branches and digital.

She also led the Open Banking implementation across Barclays Group and the development of their Community Banking proposition.

Before joining Barclays, Catherine was an Executive with ASB Bank New Zealand from 2010 to 2012, and held senior positions across the bank including strategy, lending, deposits, customer analytics & pricing, cards, transactions and payments.

Catherine also spent four years with Lloyds TSB Bank, London, where she held two senior roles, one responsible for the Transaction Banking business and as divisional Chief Risk Officer.

Between 2002 and 2005, Catherine was with the Prudential Group. Her last role was to lead a new 50:50 joint venture between Prudential & Discovery Holdings (South African health insurer), successfully building and launching a new health insurance business.

Ms McGrath has a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting and Business Admin, from Canterbury University, New Zealand. She was admitted to the New Zealand Bar in 1994.

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Will more WestPac branches be closed and customers be made to bank online only?


Took me moment to realise you didn't mean the famous country singer/songwriter but another Catherine McGrath.


Gosh I thought that was Tom Cochrane from the band Red Rider. 


Great to see some high quality Kiwi talent returning home to hopefully challenge and improve the local banking scene!