SBS Bank boss retires after 22 years

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 13:11 08/04/2014
Ross Smith
John Hawkins
STEPPING DOWN: SBS chief executive Ross Smith will retire at the end of July.

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SBS Bank chief executive Ross Smith will retire at the end of July.

SBS chairman John Ward said Smith's decision to retire would end 22 years with the business.

"As the longest-serving chief executive of any New Zealand bank, Ross has been an invaluable member of the SBS Bank team," he said.

"He has successfully managed the entity through challenging times and market transitions."

SBS, which was a mutually owned building society, gained its bank registration in October 2008.

It is New Zealand's largest building society, and while it has achieved bank registration, it retains a mutual structure.

It has 14 branches from Invercargill to Tauranga, as well as three HBS Bank branches in Hawke's Bay.

Smith said he was confident the timing was right to move on.

"I've been privileged to lead the first building society in the world to become a registered bank, and after 20-something years as chief executive it's time to move on and transfer SBS Bank's helm to a new generation of leadership."

He said he had helped oversee the launch of SBS subsidiary companies Finance Now, Southsure Assurance and Funds Administration New Zealand.

He had also been involved in the bank registration process, seeing the bank emerge from the Southland Building Society and the merger with the Hastings Building Society, now HBS Bank.

SBS directors have started the process of recruiting Smith's successor.

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- Fairfax Media

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