Reserve Bank orders improvements to ANZ attestation processes

by Ksenia Stepanova13 Dec 2019

The Reserve Bank has ordered “further improvements” to ANZ’s attestation processes following the first of two reports, expressing concerns about its failure to use an approved Operational Risk capital model since 2014, among other issues.

The Reserve Bank also noted the inaccurate attestations about expenditure by its former CEO David Hisco, and the sale of a St Heliers property to his wife.

Hisco left ANZ in June of this year following an internal review of his personal expenses.

The first of two Section 95 reports prepared by Deloitte found that the ANZ directors’ attestation and assurance framework “requires improvement to become fully effective.” Deloitte has recommended a number of measures that the directors should take.

Reserve Bank deputy governor Geoff Bascand says ANZ’s complacency was “concerning,” and that New Zealand’s public banks are expected to hold their frameworks to the “highest standard.”

Read more: ANZ chief executive departs following personal expenses review

“ANZ’s directors must drive this change and ensure this benchmark is achieved,” Bascand said.

“While we acknowledge ANZ’s work over the recent months to improve its framework and the attention these matters are now receiving, more is required. We will continue to work with ANZ on this until the Reserve Bank is satisfied that ANZ’s overall approach to attestation meets our expectations.”

ANZ board chair Sir John Key says the report has given the bank the chance to “reflect on its processes,” though acknowledges that it should never have been in a position where a review was necessary in the first place. He says a programme of improvement has already been started, and Deloitte’s recommendations will be implemented by 2021.

“The report involved a thorough review of ANZ NZ’s attestation and assurance framework, including four case studies, and has developed useful recommendations for improvement,” Key said.

“We’re committed to implementing all the recommendations by the time of the next section 95 review in 2021.”

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