According to a statement Suncorp made to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on Tuesday, Clive van Horen, the chief executive of Suncorp’s banking division, will step down by the end of the year. Van Horen, a former CommBank executive and South African native, has been leading Suncorp Bank since August 2020.
Van Horen’s departure comes amidst Suncorp’s ongoing efforts to sell its banking business to ANZ. The company is currently awaiting a review of the sale by an independent tribunal after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) rejected the deal. The hearings are expected in December, with a decision likely by the end of February 2024.
During his tenure at Suncorp, van Horen played a key role in preparing the bank for its eventual sale. He led efforts to improve enterprise efficiency and innovate customer experiences. His leadership resulted in a significant turnaround in Suncorp Bank’s profitability over the last year. The bank’s net profit after tax grew by 27.7% over FY22 and FY23 to $470 million, reversing a 12.2% loss from the previous financial year. Net interest income also saw a 13% increase.
Suncorp Group chief executive Steve Johnston expressed disappointment at Van Horen’s decision but acknowledged his contributions. “Clive and his team have done an exceptional job in simplifying the bank and growing our home and business lending portfolios, particularly in what has been a complex and highly competitive market,” Johnston said on Tuesday.
The announcement of Van Horen’s departure follows the retirement of Paul Smeaton, the chief operating officer of Suncorp’s insurance business. Van Horen is set to pursue an opportunity in the non-bank financial services sector. He has publicly expressed support for ANZ’s proposed takeover of Suncorp Bank, citing ANZ’s significant investment in technology as a potential benefit for Suncorp Bank customers.
The announcement was made at Suncorp’s annual general meeting, where chair Christine McLoughlin also discussed the issue of homes being built in areas repeatedly impacted by natural disasters. She called for limiting development on flood plains and encouraging residents to move to higher ground.