People First Bank names new CEO

It also announces changes in the board of directors

People First Bank names new CEO

People First Bank, a customer-owned bank, has announced that Steve Laidlaw (pictured above right), currently deputy chief executive, will succeed Peter Lock (pictured above left) as CEO.

Laidlaw’s appointment will take effect on July 1 to allow a smooth transition aligned with the bank’s merger commitments and the start of the new financial year. Before the merger, Laidlaw served as managing director and CEO of People’s Choice since 2016.

Lock will retire on August 31 after nearly nine years of leading the organisation and Heritage Bank.

These changes reflect our merger commitments to ensure a smooth transition through the merger of Heritage Bank and People’s Choice and now the creation of People First Bank,” said Michael Cameron, board chairman of People First Bank.

“I extend my gratitude to Peter for his leadership and dedication to our members as our inaugural CEO. Peter leaves People First Bank with a strong balance sheet, deposit and lending growth that is outperforming the market, high customer satisfaction and a clear plan for the future.

“I congratulate Steve on his appointment and am excited about the future under his leadership.”

In line with the company’s constitution, approved as part of the merger, the bank’s board will reduce in size from 12 to eight directors.

Kerry Betros (pictured  directly above, left) and Georgina Williams (pictured directly above, right) will retire at this year’s annual general meeting (AGM) on November 14, with two more directors retiring at next year’s AGM.

“Kerry has been synonymous with our organisation for over 30 years, joining as a director of Heritage Bank in 1991 before being appointed chairman in 2012 and deputy chairman of People First Bank last year,” Cameron said. “His commitment to our bank, to the values of mutuality, and to the communities of South East Queensland have been outstanding.

“Georgina has been a board member since 2021 and has played a valuable role in the company’s success.

“I thank Peter, Kerry, and Georgina for their contribution and welcome Steve as the new CEO.” 

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