Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has appointed outgoing Commonwealth Ombudsman Colin Neave to the newly created role of customer fairness adviser.

Neave will take over the new role early in 2017, with responsibility for improving fairness of the bank's products and services for retail, small business as well as wealth customers in Australia.

He will be based in Melbourne and will report to ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott.

Commenting on Neave’s appointment, Elliott said: "Colin's initial focus will be to help us listen and to better understand the key retail and small banking issues by speaking to our customers and relevant stakeholders including our regulators and NGOs.

"As a first step Colin will be to help us establish our Remediation Principles so that we have a consistent set of standards we stick to when things do go wrong. He will also conduct a Fairness Review of our core retail deposit and credit products to ensure they continue to operate fairly, including their fees and charges. Our decade old basic banking account, for the most vulnerable, will be part of this review."

Neave’s previous roles include chief ombudsman of the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Australian Banking Industry ombudsman, chairperson of the Legal Services Board of Victoria and vice chair of the Australian Press Council.

"Colin's deep experience in financial services, examining and resolving the most difficult of issues, makes him the ideal person to provide us with frank and independent assessments of the fairness of our products and services. This includes the impact they have on customers, particularly those in vulnerable situations,” Elliott added.