ANZ Bank’s New Zealand woes continue with it’s country head, David Hisco leaving the bank amid claims of expenses irregularities.
The news came only a couple of weeks after the CEO went on sick leave.
On Monday the ANZ announced he was leaving the bank.
“Mr. Hisco’s departure follows ongoing health issues as well as board concern about the characterisation of certain transactions following an internal review of personal expenses,” ANZ said in a statement.
“While Mr. Hisco does not accept all of the concerns raised by the board, he accepts accountability given his leadership position and agrees the characterisation of the expenses falls short of the standards required.”
ANZ shares closed up 0.2% to $28.28 on the ASX yesterday. Investors clearly weren’t concerned at the news.
ANZ did not provide any details of the problematic personal expenses but news media in Australian and New Zealand media have widely reported Mr. Hisco billed ANZ for thousands of dollars’ worth of chauffeured car trips.
ANZ New Zealand chairman, former Prime Minister Sir John Key said the move was necessary.
“We are disappointed David is leaving ANZ under such circumstances after such a long career, however, his departure is the right one in these circumstances given the expectations we have of all our people, no matter how senior or junior.”
Hisco has been replaced by Antonia Wilson, who had been acting chief executive for several weeks.
In May the Reserve Bank of New Zealand censured the ANZ over its ongoing failure to properly monitor its capital levels or ‘buffers.’
The RBNZ said it had been questioning ANZ’s self-monitoring without effect for five years.
The move by the central bank came a month ago and means the ANZ is the only one of the big banks not trusted by the New Zealand’s banking regulator after it found “a persistent failure in its controls and attestation process” with directors not having identified the problem since it began in 2014. (Attestation in this context means the directors attest to regulators (confirm) that things have been done according to the required methods or regulations.
The RBNZ said in the May 17 statement that “ANZ’s directors have attested to compliance despite the approved model not being used since 2014. The fact that this issue was not identified for so long highlights a persistent weakness with ANZ’s assurance process.”
“The Reserve Bank had encouraged ANZ to undertake a full review of its attestation process, and assess its compliance with capital regulations. ANZ’s failure to use an approved model was revealed through that review.”