The chief executive of Australia's biggest bank, the Commonwealth, will retire, the company said Monday, amid pressure from regulators over alleged breaches of laws on money laundering and terrorism financing. The bank's chairwoman Catherine Livingstone said in a statement to the stock exchange that Ian Narev "will retire by the end of the 2018 financial year".
Narev faced calls to step down last week after the financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC launched a civil action against the bank alleging "serious and systemic non-compliance" with the laws more than 53,000 times. The 50-year-old initially insisted he would stay on but Livingstone said yesterday that the bank wanted to end speculation over his future.
New Zealand-born Narev took over the top job at the Commonwealth in late 2011. His tenure has delivered bumper returns for shareholders, including a record Aus$9.93 billion (US$7.86 billion) annual net profit unveiled last week. But it has also been marred by scandals over poor financial planning advice, insurance payouts and now allegations of money laundering.
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