National Australia Bank has named Ross McEwan as its new chief executive officer. The current head of Royal Bank of Scotland and former CBA executive will begin the new role no later than April 2020.

NAB had spent five months searching for a new CEO following the resignation of former boss Andrew Thorburn in the wake of the royal commission. 

McEwan will be paid a salary of $2.5 million per year with capacity to earn annual bonuses up to another 150 per cent of salary.

New NAB CEO Ross McEwan. Source:

A former group executive for retail banking services at CBA, McEwan left to lead RBS in 2012. In April he gave 12 months notice to the UK bank. He will replace acting CEO Philip Chronican, who will move on to the role of chairman, setting up “ interim management arrangements” until McEwan arrives.

McEwan said he was privileged to lead NAB during a “crucial time for the bank”.

“There are a number of areas where NAB can extend its lead, such as business banking, agriculture and health, and other areas where I believe we should consistently lead such as customer service. We must also meet and exceed the expectations of our many stakeholders.

“It is essential that I protect and accelerate the bank’s transformation program. The community also expects a higher level of accountability and transparency from the banking industry. Australians deserve NAB to be a world class service provider.”

NAB chairman Philip Chronican said McEwan will be the ideal leader as the bank looks to transform its culture and operations.

“Ross brings a compelling range of experience across finance, insurance and investment with a track record of delivering important and practical improvements for customers. RBS has been through many of the same challenges which NAB now faces around culture, trust and reputation.

“We have secured a well proven CEO and reached agreement on an appropriate remuneration package when compared with domestic and international peers and other sectors.”

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