June 7, 2018 / 11:54 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Westpac appoints new chief risk officer

(Adds details on other appointments, background on inquiry)

June 8 (Reuters) - Australia’s Westpac Banking Corp appointed a new chief risk officer on Friday amid a financial sector inquiry that has uncovered widespread wrongdoing and forced the government to boost regulatory oversight.

David Stephen, who currently serves as group chief risk officer at the Royal Bank of Scotland, would replace Alexandra Holcomb who announced her retirement last year, Westpac said in a statement.

CFO Peter King would act as chief risk officer until Stephen took up the position at an unspecified date. Deputy CFO David Lees would act as chief financial officer during this time.

The appointment comes at a sensitive time for Westpac and its “Big Four” banking peers, which have seen their reputations shredded by the royal commission inquiry in recent months and now face tougher compliance standards.

In one case, Westpac admitted last month to signing up a legally blind pensioner as loan guarantor for her daughter’s business without warning her of the risks, then threatened to evict her when the business failed.

Earlier in May it also conceded to being “too slow” to resolve customer complaints and created an executive role to handle them. (Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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