Former Queensland premier Anna Bligh has been appointed CEO of the Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA), an industry group representing 25 banks across the country.
Ms Bligh, a former Labor MP who served as Queensland’s first female premier between 2007 and 2012, has been the CEO of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) in New South Wales.
ABA chairman Andrew Thorburn said Ms Bligh’s focus would be “firmly be on the culture within banking and lifting respect for our profession and creating a strong vision for customers and on how our industry responds and leads on regulatory reform”.
Ms Bligh will be the ABA’s first female CEO and begins the role on April 3.
“Our banks are critical to the strength and stability of our national economy and the prosperity and wellbeing of every Australian,” she said.
Ms Bligh said she did not want a banking royal commission, which is at odds with federal Labor leader Bill Shorten.
“Personally I’ve always believed you get more done inside the tent,” she said.
“That’s why I’m very excited the opportunity to lead and shape a very compelling package of change and reform that will allow the banking industry to restore trust and confidence in a system that is open, fair and transparent.
What I don’t bring to this job is: I’m not a banker, but I am a customer — I’ll be bringing a customer lens to every piece of lens that I turn my mind to.”
Ms Bligh said some of her most significant achievements in politics were achieved with bipartisanship.
“I know the power of bipartisan support,” she said.
Fmr QLD premier Anna Bligh taking over from Steven Munchenburg at Bankers Association pic.twitter.com/Avx1VK4omD
— Elysse Morgan (@ElysseMorgan) February 16, 2017
“We would never have had an opportunity to introduce a new year of school in Queensland, or indeed to have successfully recovered after our floods and disasters if I didn’t have what it takes to work across the political divide.
“I intend to do that in this new role.”
Qld premier Anna Bligh made chief lobbyist for banks. How will she fight off Bill Shorten's calls for Royal Comm? https://t.co/C7MQOSrZ2g
— Peter Ryan (@Peter_F_Ryan) February 17, 2017
Ms Bligh was honoured this year as a Companion of the Order of Australia for her services to politics and women.
She was also recognised for her leadership during Queensland’s flood crisis in 2011.
However she resigned from politics a year later, after the Campbell Newman-led LNP swept to power in a landslide election win.
Ms Bligh relocated to NSW, and battled non-Hodgkin lymphoma before declaring she was “very well” in 2014.