Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer to quit

Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer to quit

Westpac CEO steps down over money-laundering scandal

That all changed on Tuesday, when Maxsted announced both Hartzer's exit and that his own retirement in the first half of next year.

Current Chief Financial Officer, Peter King, will serve as the CEO until a long-term replacement is appointed.

Chairman Lindsay Maxsted also brought forward his retirement and risk and compliance chairman Ewen Crouch announced that he was stepping down, but for numerous bank's major shareholders, three scalps are simply not enough.

Westpac was sued by Australian regulators last week for an alleged 23 million breaches of counter-terrorism financing and money-laundering laws.

Westpac Bank chief executive Brian Hartzer resigned following charges that the Australian bank engaged in money-laundering.

The Australian government has described the alleged breaches as "very serious".

Westpac has an annual general meeting scheduled for December 12. "Obviously there are some systemic issues that need to be addressed". As much as A$7.5 billion was wiped off Westpac's market capitalisation after the damaging scandal emerged. While Hartzer's resignation may vent some immediate pressure on the bank, it now faces a hard search for a permanent replacement.

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"As CEO, I accept that I am ultimately responsible for everything that goes on at the bank", Hartzer mentioned in a press release.

"It follows the strongest, clearest comments from the prime minister and the treasure about community expectations, and government expectations, in the face of what is a serious and profound breach", Mr Hunt said. He'll lose unearned bonuses and can now not be eligible for future bonuses.

Westpac's reputation is in tatters after money laundering accusations.

The bank is suspected of failing to report 19.5 million global fund transfers worth more than US$7 billion from November 2013 to September a year ago. Most of the offences concerned the late reporting of overseas transactions.

"The Board accepts the gravity of the issues raised by Austrac", Maxsted said in the statement.

And, AUSTRAC says Westpac didn't introduce any measures to detect the known child exploitation processes.

In one case, a customer transferred money to a person in the Philippines who was later arrested for child trafficking and exploitation involving the live streaming of child sex.

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The prime minister and treasurer stopped short of calling for Mr Hartzer and Westpac chairman Lindsay Maxsted to resign.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said "there needed to be accountability".

Westpac Australia boss Brian Hartzer will step down in the wake of a banking scandal unfolding across the ditch. A national inquiry earlier this year lambasted banks for a runaway culture of greed and poor behaviour.

Australia's banking industry, one of the world's most profitable, is facing an array of challenges. It negotiated a 700 million Australian dollar settlement.

The court will decide the bank's penalty in February. Only ANZ Bank's Shayne Elliott is still in his job.

The swift turnaround by United States born Brian Hartzer underscored how politically and publicly sensitive missteps by Australia's big banks have become in the wake of a bruising public inquiry that found rampant profiteering in the industry.

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