TSB boss Kevin Murphy to depart in January,

TSB Bank chief executive Kevin Murphy will leave the New Plymouth-based, community-owned lender at the end of January after nearly a decade in charge of New Zealand's sixth-biggest lender.

The board has started its search to find a replacement for Murphy, but doesn't expect to complete that before he leaves on Jan. 31, 2018, the bank said in a statement. Deputy chair Murray Bain, a former Reserve Bank assistant governor, will act as interim managing director to tide the lender over.

"Mr Murphy has for some time signalled to the Board his intentions. However, he has put that to one side in the interests of the business, to assist with TSB Community Trust's acquisition of Fisher Funds and to complete TSB's recent rebrand," chair John Kelly said. "This reflects the dedication and passion for TSB and the community that he is known for."

In August, TSB owner TSB Community Trust exercised its right to buy out co-shareholders in Fisher Funds having initially taken a 26 percent stake in 2013 through the bank and later lifted that holding to 49 percent. The lender subsequently sold a quarter of the fund manager to US private equity firm TA Associates with the intention of that stake rising to 34 percent once various approvals were completed.

TSB reported a 25 percent fall in annual profit to $46.3 million in the 12 months ended March 31 in an increasingly competitive environment where low interest rates squeezed lender's margins. Still, the bank has continued to expand its loan book and had total assets of $6.95 billion as at June 30, making it the largest among the second-tier of lenders.

(BusinessDesk)

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