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Ms Brown replaces long-serving director Anne McLeod.
Ms Brown is a former commercial lawyer who is now a professional director and has had extensive governance experience.
She was previously on the Southern Institute of Technology council for 11 years, six of them as chairwoman.
She is on the boards of PGG Wrightson and Blue Sky Meats.
She has also served on the boards of Electricity Invercargill and PowerNet.
Board chairman Joe O’Connell said the new appointment should be viewed extremely positively by SBS members.
"Sarah is a passionate Southlander who brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience to the SBS board.
"Sarah has a deep appreciation for our unique position as a member-owned bank and is committed to our core value of putting our members at the heart of everything we do.
"[She] is well-aligned with the SBS values and how they feature within the organisation."
Brown said she felt privileged to be involved with such a long-standing organisation that focused on putting its members at the forefront of everything it did and was proud to be a part of the SBS
banking group which focused on providing benefits back to members across New Zealand.
"As a Southlander, I know what SBS means to both the Southland community and SBS members around the country who feel a real sense of loyalty and pride in what the organisation has achieved over the years."