6 September 2019
For the first time the Australian Banking Association (ABA) Council of CEOs, its governing body, has held its quarterly meeting in a regional centre.
The Council met with local community leaders and groups, including Bendigo Mayor Margaret O’Rourke, local business chamber Be.Bendigo, the Salvation Army and Rural Financial Counsellors.
ABA Chair and ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott said the meeting was an important milestone for the Association, that is determined to listen to communities outside capital cities.
“Regional communities have always been, and remain to this day, an important focus for any bank in Australia,” Mr Elliott said.
“Holding our Council meeting outside of a capital city for the first time is another way we are ensuring we remain close to regional communities, listening first hand to any issues they have and the changes that could be made to make banking easier,” he said.
ABA CEO Anna Bligh said the meeting was an important way for bank CEOs to hear firsthand the concerns of local groups such as financial counsellors, small businesses and community leaders who see firsthand the issues faced by customers.
“Local leaders, community groups and businesses were represented today and gave full and frank feedback to CEOs about where banks are doing well and also where they can lift their game in servicing regional centres such as Bendigo,” Ms Bligh said.
At today’s Council meeting Shayne Elliott foreshadowed the end of his two year term as Chair of the ABA at the end of the year. The Council noted that CEO of the Commonwealth Bank Matt Comyn would assume the role of Chair at the ABA’s AGM in December.
The Council also thanked outgoing chair Shayne Elliott who has led the Association over the last two years.
Council has also confirmed that Deputy Chair and CEO of Suncorp Bank, David Carter’s term will be extended for another year.
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Interviewed by AM’s Peter Ryan, ABA CEO Anna Bligh talked about the substantial drop in loan deferrals since their peak during the pandemic, falling from 900,000 to 300,000.