Former Westpac (ASX: WBC) CEO Brian Hartzer, who resigned unceremoniously from the bank in 2019 amid legal controversy, has been named the new chairman of emerging fintech Beforepay.
Sydney-based Beforepay is a 'pay on demand' service, giving members instant access to their wages by applying a buy-now pay-later (BNPL) type model to salaries.
The fintech currently has more than 100,000 active customers in Australia and recently raised a $45 million debt facility with Longreach Credit Investors.
Hartzer's appointment is immediate and comes after he resigned from Westpac following AUSTRAC allegations that the banking group contravened the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) on more than 23 million occasions.
Those allegations resulted in Westpac paying $1.3 billion in penalties - the largest ever civil penalty in Australian legal history.
Hartzer says he is honoured to be joining Beforepay at this pivotal moment in the fintech's growth.
"Beforepay meets a genuine need in the market for short-term consumer finance that has largely been overlooked by banks," says Hartzer.
"I was impressed by their model and how their success is tied to a customer's good repayment habits, in stark contrast to predatory models in the market.
"It's terrific to see Beforepay using technology to innovate and lift the sector."
Beforepay chairman Brian Hartzer.
Beforepay CEO James Twiss, who was formerly the chief strategy officer at Westpac until April this year, says he is "delighted" to be working with Hartzer again.
"His strategic capabilities are what we need in a chairman and will add tremendous depth of experience to our board and support the leadership team as Beforepay continues to grow and evolve," says Twiss.
"This week we've completed $100 million in pay advances and continue to grow rapidly. We're heartened to see that the market continues to be very receptive to our product, and we're only just scratching the surface."
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