Westpac’s awkward job ad fail
Westpac has been caught advertising for a Financial Crime Program role - while the banking giant continues to grapple with a massive child exploitation scandal.
The 200-year-old lender has dominated headlines for days after financial watchdog AUSTRAC alleged it failed to investigate customers who made transactions potentially linked to child exploitation in the Philippines and South-East Asia.
In 2016, senior managers within the bank were warned its systems for international transfers had the potential to be used to send money to child sex hot spots, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
The lender is also accused of breaching money laundering and counter-terrorism finance laws.
The crisis has cost chief executive Brian Hartzer his job, along with chairman Lindsay Maxsted, who will bring forward his retirement to the first half of next year.
But as the bank reels from the fallout, an awkward and ill-timed Westpac job ad is still visible on LinkedIn.
It is for a Project Management Office Communications Director role, which sits within Westpac's Financial Crime Transformation Program business unit.
Reporting to the head of the Financial Crime Transformation Program, the successful candidate will have "clear visibility to senior stakeholders" and be responsible for three key focus areas, including Strategy Support, Uplift Activity Pipeline Management and Communications.
While the ad states that the Sydney CBD job is "no longer accepting applications", it was only posted on November 7, while the closing date is December 19.
"Westpac is passionate about financial crime and recognises that we have a responsibility to protect our communities from criminals who seek to use bank systems to store, obtain and move money," the job ad states.
"In response Westpac is setting up an exciting multi-year program to transform the way it manages financial crime across the Group. This is one of five group-wide priorities.
"You'll have a birds-eye view of the whole Group and play a critical role in driving enterprise wide communication activities across the range of program workstreams and initiatives throughout the program life cycle. The primary focus of this role will be to prepare and execute change, communications and stakeholder engagement plans to maximise internal and external stakeholder engagement in the program."
Despite the ongoing scandal, Mr Hartzer allegedly made a number of shocking comments during a closed-door meeting with high-ranking staff on Monday, which were revealed in an explosive report in The Australian yesterday.
According to the newspaper, the embattled boss allegedly told attendees at the top-secret meeting the scandal "was not playing out as a high street issue" and that the Westpac board "don't need to overcook this" because "for people in mainstream Australia going about their daily lives, this is not a major issue".
The comments were branded "tone deaf" and "wrong" on social media.