The Co-operative Bank appoints former Westpac NZ acting CEO Bruce McLachlan CEO and reports fall in annual profit

The Co-operative Bank appoints former Westpac NZ acting CEO Bruce McLachlan CEO and reports fall in annual profit

The Co-operative Bank has named Bruce McLachlan, who had nine months as acting CEO of Westpac NZ as its new CEO, ahead of Gareth Fleming who has been the co-operative's acting CEO since Girol Karacaoglu quit for a role at Treasury in February.

Co-operative Bank chairman Steven Fyfe said McLachlan was a very experienced New Zealand banker with the right qualities to lead the Co-operative Bank, formerly PSIS having gained banking registration from the Reserve Bank last October, to become a growing force in the New Zealand retail banking market.

The 49 year-old McLachlan's 10 years at Westpac include leading both its business banking unit, and retail banking customer facing businesses. He was also acting CEO for nine months during 2008/09. McLachlan's also had stints at both BNZ and its parent National Australia Bank in Melbourne. His appointment is subject to Reserve Bank approval.

“Appointing Bruce as CEO concludes a momentous year for us and means that the Co-operative Bank has all the necessary foundations in place,” said Fyfe.

“In the past year we’ve achieved our banking licence, received a credit rating upgrade (now BBB- with a positive outlook from Standard & Poor's), changed our name and won the inaugural 2011 CANSTAR Blue Customer Satisfaction award for banking, receiving the maximum 5 stars in every category," Fyfe added.

Fleming, acting CEO for four months and who had sought the job on a permanent basis, will return to his role as general manager for marketing and products.

The Co-operative Bank also reported its March year annual results today, with Fyfe saying underlying profit before tax down fell to NZ$7.2 million from NZ$7.4 million in 2010/11.

“Although the bank’s pre-tax operating profit of NZ$6.6 million is down on the previous year (which was NZ$8.6 million), we’re pleased with the result, as the reduction in profit is primarily due to the one-off costs associated with bank registration and re-branding as The Co-operative Bank,” Fyfe said.

Deposits increased NZ$51 million, or 4%, to NZ$1.21 billion and lending rose NZ$43 million to NZ$1.21 billion. Total reserves increased NZ$5.5 million to NZ$129 million. The bank's total capital ratio was 17.5%, well above the Reserve Bank mandated minimum of 8%.

CEO Profile - Bruce McLachlan

• 49 years old.
• Married with 3 adult children.
• Bachelor of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University Wellington.
• 30 years working in financial services in New Zealand and Australia.
• Most recent role has been 10+ years at Westpac New Zealand, with nearly all that time on the Executive Team leading the Business Banking, and then Retail Banking customer facing businesses. Was Acting Chief Executive for 9 months during 2008/09.
• Previously held roles in National Australia Bank (Melbourne), Bank of New Zealand, BNZ Finance and Reserve Bank of New Zealand
• Interests are mainly outdoor pursuits - including many sports, boating, gardening and hiking.

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