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Stewart elected as ABA chairman

Stewart elected as ABA chairman

(16 July 2007 - Australia) National Australia Bank group chief executive John Stewart has been elected as the new chairman of the Australian Bankers Association. Stewart succeeds Westpac chief executive David Morgan who has completed his two year term with the ABA.

Stewart said the banking sector was one of the most highly regulated industries in Australia and Dr Morgan had looked to achieve balanced and workable outcomes.

Stewart said he welcomed the opportunity to continue this important regulatory work because a strong, stable banking system was essential to Australia's economic growth.

Before leaving his position as chairman of the ABA, Dr Morgan pointed to the amount of regulation faced by the banking sector, which according to a Business Council of Australia report was increasing by 10 percent a year, three times the rate of economic growth.

Dr Morgan said the ABA had won some progress on a series of submissions made to reform regulatory practice but warned that there was more work to do in ensuring that Australia had the most efficient regulatory regime possible.

HSBC Australia chief executive, Stuart Davis, will continue in his role as the ABA's deputy chairman.

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