National Australia Bank plans to merge its corporate and institutional banking division to create an institutional markets and services group in Sydney next month. John Hooper, who was previously head of specialized finance and acting head of the corporate banking division, has been named as executive general manager of the new unit He was traveling and could not be reached.
The reshuffle is part of the fallout of a foreign exchange options scandal earlier this year, in which the bank lost some AUD360 million (USD250.3 million)(DW, 1/26).
As part of the move, Jeff Mitchell, general manager in London, will transfer to Sydney in the coming weeks to assume a new role as general manager of the markets group. Jim Kyle, former head of structured finance in Sydney, has become head of structured products.
On the foreign exchange side, Mark Adams, was named head of foreign exchange in Sydney in March in the immediate wake of the scandal. The bank is looking to re-launch foreign exchange option trading, which had been suspended. "We are continuing to work closely with [the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority] on completing remedial actions outlined in [its] report," noted Fidelma Ryan, spokeswoman at NAB in an email to DW, adding, "The next major milestone for this program of work is the re-opening of the foreign exchange options desk and we are currently working with APRA to fulfill [its] requirements." Adams declined comment.
John Miles, director at Fitch Ratings in Brisbane, said, "The new recruits are experienced and have been successful in their previous roles. While the new structure will take time to prove itself, I see nothing immediately to cause concern."