SBS Bank, the Invercargill-based lender, has appointed Shaun Drylie as its new chief executive.

The former CEO, Wayne Evans, died suddenly from natural causes in January after taking up the role in 2014.

Drylie spent his childhood in the South Island, beginning his banking career in Greymouth 30 years ago. He has worked for Commonwealth Bank of Australia's ASB Bank since 1994 and has been focused on the development of the CBA's operations in Vietnam for the past two years.

SBS chairman John Ward said Drylie had the skills they were looking for:


"Shaun's extensive background across the New Zealand banking industry, innovative thinking and international experience are vital components in the mix and breadth of the skill base that he will contribute to the management of our business."

He'll take up the post at the beginning of August.

Drylie said SBS's status as a mutual made the role appealing: "A bank that is in business for its customers rather than shareholders through its member structure is a unique proposition and competitive advantage."

Interim chief executive Mark McLean is to return to his role as chief risk and innovation officer.