ANZ chief executive departs following personal expenses review

by Ksenia Stepanova17 Jun 2019

ANZ has announced the departure of New Zealand CEO David Hisco following an internal review of his personal expenses, leading to concern from the ANZ Board about the ‘characterisation of some transactions’. The bank says his departure is also down to ongoing health issues.

ANZ has confirmed that Antonia Watson, former Managing Director Retail and Business Banking, will step into the role of Acting CEO until a replacement can be found.

The bank says that Hisco does not accept all of the concerns raised by the Board, but agrees that the characterisation of the expenses “falls short of the standards required” given his high leadership position within the bank.

Commenting on the departure, ANZ New Zealand Chair Rt Hon Sir John Key said: “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.”

“We are fortunate to have an experienced executive in Antonia Watson to step in while we conduct a search for a replacement. Antonia’s extensive banking career has her well placed to help ANZ manage through this transition,” he added.

ANZ also came under regulatory scrutiny earlier in May, when the Reserve Bank revoked its approval to model its own operational capital risk requirements due to “a persistent failure in its controls and attestation processes.” Stuff revealed in June that a letter had been written to Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr urging that Key and Hisco should resign or “be removed”.

Hisco will receive contracted and statutory entitlements to notice and untaken leave, with all unvested equity to forfeit.

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