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People First Bank, Australia’s leading customer-owned banking organisation, is today announcing important news about its CEO and Board transitions.


Steve Laidlaw to succeed Peter Lock as CEO

 Steve Laidlaw, Deputy CEO, will succeed Peter Lock as CEO on 1 July 2024, allowing for a smooth transition in line with our merger commitments and coinciding with the start of the new financial year.

Before the merger, Mr Laidlaw was Managing Director and CEO of People’s Choice, a position he held since 2016. 

Mr Lock will retire from People First Bank on 31 August 2024 after nearly nine years leading the organisation and Heritage Bank. The business is performing well, and the integration is ahead of expectations.

“These changes reflect our merger commitments to ensure a smooth transition through the merger of Heritage Bank and People’s Choice and now the creation of People First Bank,” said Chairman, Michael Cameron.

“I extend my gratitude to Peter for his leadership and dedication to our members as our inaugural CEO. Peter leaves People First Bank with a strong balance sheet, deposit and lending growth that is outperforming the market, high customer satisfaction and a clear plan for the future.

“I congratulate Steve on his appointment and am excited about the future under his leadership.”


Retirement of Directors

 In accordance with the company’s Constitution that was approved as part of the merger, the Board will be reducing in size from twelve to eight directors.

Kerry Betros AM and Georgina Williams will retire at this year’s AGM on 14 November 2024, with two more directors retiring at next year’s AGM.

“Kerry has been synonymous with our organisation for over 30 years, joining as a Director of Heritage Bank in 1991 before being appointed Chairman in 2012 and Deputy Chairman of People First Bank last year. His commitment to our bank, to the values of mutuality and to the communities of South East Queensland have been outstanding,” said Mr Cameron.

“Georgina has been a Board member since 2021 and has played a valuable role in the company’s success.”

“I thank Peter, Kerry and Georgina for their contribution and welcome Steve as the new CEO.” 

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