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Commonwealth Ombudsman moves to banking

Colin Neave

Colin Neave will soon leave his job as Commonwealth Ombudsman to work for ANZ in a newly created customer advocacy role, the bank announced on Thursday.

He will be departing in early 2017, a few months before the end of his five-year appointment.

As customer fairness advisor, Neave will report directly to the bank’s chief executive and his role is to improve the “fairness” of the bank’s products and services for its Australian retail, small business and wealth customers.

Neave is a former chief ombudsman of the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Australian banking industry ombudsman, chair of the Legal Services Board of Victoria and vice-chair of the Australian Press Council.

He served as chair of the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council between 1997 and 2013, and president of the Administrative Review Council. In June 2005, he was appointed a member of the Order of Australia for service to public administration and to the banking and finance industry, particularly through dispute resolution.


Neave is the second Commonwealth official to make the move to ANZ after a long career in government in recent times. Extremely long-serving federal mandarin Jane Halton, who was most recent secretary of the Department of Finance, took up a position on ANZ’s board of directors in October.

Author Bio

David Donaldson

David Donaldson is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Melbourne.