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Anna Bligh to head banking lobby group

 

Former Queensland Labor premier Anna Bligh has been named the next chief lobbyist for Australia's banking sector.

Her appointment as chief executive of the Australian Bankers Association comes as federal Labor pushes for a royal commission into the banking industry.

Ms Bligh, who will become the group's first female CEO on April 3, said she was excited to "lead and shape" reforms to strengthen the public's trust and confidence in Australia's banking system.

"Our banks are critical to the strength and stability of our national economy and the prosperity and wellbeing of every Australian," she said in a statement.

"We all rely on our bank for the most important financial decisions of our lives so we want a system that is open, fair and trustworthy."

The ABA cited Ms Bligh's leadership and community service when it announced her appointment on Friday.

"She is highly regarded and respected by community, political and business leaders and understands the need for all stakeholders to work together to deliver the best outcome for customers," chairman Andrew Thorburn said.

Ms Bligh, 56, was Australia's first popularly elected female premier but retired from politics in 2012 when she led Labor to the worst defeat of a sitting government in Queensland's history.

For the past three years she has worked with vulnerable and financially disadvantaged Australians as the CEO of YWCA New South Wales.

She has also served on the board of Medibank Private.

This year, Ms Bligh was appointed a Companion to the Order of Australia for her eminent service to the Queensland Parliament, her contribution to education reform and her advocacy of women's roles in public life.