Matt Comyn Named Commonwealth Bank of Australia's New CEO

Comyn has almost two decades of experience and was previously the head of CBA's retail bank.

Matt Comyn

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has appointed Matt Comyn, the bank’s current group executive for retail banking services, as managing director and CEO.

He will replace outgoing CEO, Ian Narev, effective on April 9. Narev announced last August he would retire before the end of this fiscal year, after more than six years in the role. 

Comyn, 42, has nearly 20 years of banking experience serving in roles covering institutional, retail and wealth management verticals. He joined CBA in 1999 and—aside from a brief seven-month stint as CEO of Morgan Stanley’s wealth management business in 2010—has held several senior leadership roles. He was appointed to his current role, group executive for retail banking services in 2012. The division now accounts for half of the bank’s profit.

In a statement, Catherine Livingstone, chairman at CBA, said the board’s priorities for a new CEO were to find a candidate who will maintain the momentum of the business, while addressing the regulatory and reputational challenges facing the bank.

Comyn will take over during a period of turmoil for the bank. In August 2017, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) initiated civil penalty proceedings in federal court against the CBA “for serious and systemic non-compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006.”

Then, in December, Austrac expanded its investigation to a further 100 contraventions, with Austrac CEO, Nicole Rose, noting in a statement that “[t]hese allegations are very serious and reflect systemic non-compliance over approximately six years.”

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