NAB: Ross McEwan to leave top bank job, Andrew Irvine to replace him


The boss of one of Australia’s big four banks will step down this year after four years in the job.

NAB announced on Wednesday morning that chief executive Ross McEwan CBE will step down from the job on April 2.

Andrew Irvine will step up into the role of group chief executive and managing director.

The British-Canadian dual citizen has held the role of group executive business and private banking since 2020.

NAB chair Philip Chronican said he Mr Irvine was “well suited to take NAB into its next chapter” of growth and performance for the bank’s customers.

“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,” Mr Chronican said.

“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.”

Mr Irvine was head of Canadian business banking at Canada’s oldest bank, Bank of Montreal, where he held a range of roles over more than 12 years.

He previously worked for McKinsey & Company, Lycos Europe and Credit Agricole.

Mr Irvine said he was “humbled” by the board’s decision to appoint him to the leadership role and “excited by the opportunity”.

“NAB is on the right trajectory to being a better bank and I will work with my colleagues to continue executing our strategic ambitions,” he said.

“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.”

Mr Chronican paid tribute to Mr McEwan, who joined NAB in December 2019 with a mandate for change in the wake of the royal commission into misconduct in the banking industry.

“Ross has been exactly the CEO we needed. He came in at a critical time with significant international experience and expertise,” he said.

“He reminded us of the value of getting the basics right, simplification and exceeding customer expectations. It was particularly pleasing that Ross has been able to foster internal talent to enable us to make this appointment from within the bank.

“He has rightly been recognised as a tremendous and reliable career banker. He has been a stabilising force for NAB and the industry and we wish him well for the future.”

Mr McEwan said he was delighted to see Mr Irvine announced as chief executive after a lengthy assessment process.

“Andrew is a highly capable, internationally experienced banker who brings the right lens to us wanting to be Australia’s best relationship-driven bank,” he said.

“I am confident to be leaving the bank’s customers in good hands with Andrew and the team.”

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