BNP Paribas has named James Gibson as country head for Australia and New Zealand, the French bank said in a release on Monday.
Effective June 15, Gibson will become chief executive officer of BNP Paribas's Sydney branch, pending regulatory approval.
Gibson will report to Eric Raynaud, chief executive officer of BNP Paribas Asia Pacific, and will be responsible for managing the bank’s activities in a natural resource-rich region that spans New Guinea and the Pacific islands as well as Australia and New Zealand.
Gibson’s predecessor Didier Mahout will become the Budapest-based head of the bank’s Central European business.
It was during Mahout’s eight-year tenure in Sydney that the bank began cooperating with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission as it probed potential misconduct involving the Australian Bank Bill Swap Rate (BBSW), the primary interest rate benchmark used in Australian financial markets.
Credited with self-reporting attempts to manipulate the setting of the BBSW, BNP Paribas reached a settlement with ASIC in the form of an enforceable undertaking, with the bank agreeing to make a voluntary A$1 million contribution to financial literacy projects in Australia.
The bank declined to comment on the matter or elaborate on any of the information in the release.
Gibson joined BNP Paribas in Hong Kong in 2011 and has headed up the bank’s human resources activities in the Asia Pacific since 2012, the bank said. He is a qualified associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in London.
“Under Didier’s leadership, our business in Australia has been reinforced significantly,” Raynaud said in the release. "As the oldest major foreign bank in Australia, BNP Paribas continues to underline its commitment to the Australasian market with strong investment in our people, our products and our systems."
Raynaud added that Gibson's appointment "comes at a time when we look to continue the growth of our business in Australasia and where we are seeing sound business momentum.”