The NAB board of directors have appointed Andrew Irvine as group CEO and managing director.

Irvine, who has been NAB group executive business and private banking since 2020, will replace Ross McEwan on 2 April 2024. McEwan will retire from executive roles after a long career in the field.

NAB chair Philip Chronican said Irvine had key strengths supporting his appointment, including passion for customer service.

In addition, he was said to have success leading Australia’s largest business bank franchise, as well as skills in people leadership, risk management and international experience.

Chronican said: “Andrew is well suited to take NAB into its next chapter of growth and performance for our customers, colleagues and the communities we serve.

“The customer is front and centre for Andrew. He has lifted our business and private banking performance and been a tireless advocate for the agricultural sector, small business and First Nations business.

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“His expertise in digitisation, transformation and modernising has created significant benefits for how our bank operates. He has made work simpler and easier for colleagues by deeply understanding their needs.”

New NAB CEO Irvine added: “This is a humbling decision by the Board. I am excited by the opportunity to lead NAB, a bank that is core to the financial needs of so many Australians and New Zealanders.

“I have learned a great deal from Ross during his time as CEO. NAB is on the right trajectory to being a better bank and I will work with my colleagues to continue executing our strategic ambitions.

“I am very mindful of the responsibility of taking what has been built and continuing to grow our positive impact. This should benefit customers, colleagues and shareholders alike.

“This bank has a tremendous leadership team and colleagues who come to work every day wanting to deliver the best possible services.”

Prior to joining NAB, Irvine was head of Canadian business banking at BMO. He also previously held roles at Lycos Europe and Credit Agricole.

NAB completed the first-ever cross-border stablecoin transfer by a major financial institution on a public layer 1 blockchain in March 2023.

The bank’s fully backed AUDN stablecoin, which is connected to the Australian dollar, was utilised for the intrabank transfer.

It also intends to provide corporate transactions of this nature by the end of the year.

The companies confirmed that the transaction was completed on the Ethereum blockchain and that smart contracts for seven currencies were used. These currencies included dollars from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States, as well as euros, Japanese yen, and British pounds.