(Reuters) – Westpac Banking Corp (AX:) on Tuesday said Chief Executive Brian Hartzer will be stepping down, as Australia’s second-biggest bank faces the country’s biggest money-laundering scandal. Chief Financial Officer Peter King will be taking over as acting CEO, effective Dec. 2.
Financial crime regulator AUSTRAC last week accused Westpac of 23 million breaches of anti-money laundering laws, including allowing payments between known child exploiters, triggering calls for Hartzer’s resignation.
Hartzer has been with the company for more than seven years, taking over as CEO and managing director in 2015.
“We sought feedback from all our stakeholders including shareholders and having done so it became clear that Board and management changes were in the best interest of the Bank,” Chairman Lindsay Maxsted said in a statement.
Maxsted confirmed he will bring forward his retirement to the first half of 2020.
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