Today, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd [ASX:ANZ] appointed Antonia Watson as acting CEO of ANZ, following the departure of David Hisco.
ANZ’s share price weakened at today’s open on the news.
But at the time of writing, shares were trading slightly higher at $28.28, up 0.21%.
In the announcement, ANZ’s 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.’
Personal expenses to blame for Hisco’s undoing
ANZ’s board has revealed its concern over Mr Hisco’s personal spending, which triggered an internal review, resulting in his departure and the forfeiture of $6 million worth of equity holdings.
ANZ NZ Chairman John Key said the review looked into Mr Hisco’s personal use of chauffeured cars and storage space adding up to tens of thousands of dollars spanning several years.
Although the review did not involve the amount of money spent, but rather the how the money spent was characterised in ANZ’s records.
According to the Australian Financial Review, Mr Hisco is set to fight the characterisation of the expenses in dispute, claiming he had a verbal agreement to charge certain services to the bank.
He will receive his statutory entitlements, such as untaken leave that includes 12 months of salary.
Mr Key said:
‘We have to be able to have trust in what people are recognising in their records and in that regard David would say he did not meet the standard he sets for the rest of our staff and himself.’
ANZ’s 2019 share price outlook
It seems today’s development could not have come at a worse time for ANZ, as the bank is already swept up in conflict with the central bank and prudential regulator.
Its rainy day fund, as well as other systems, will be investigated for any irregularities.
As it stands, banks everywhere are coming under scrutiny and it’s only a matter of time before we see some kind of overhaul.
So if that’s anything to go by, ANZ’s share price could have its fair share of struggles.
More to come.
For Money Morning
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