(Bloomberg) -- ANZ Bank’s New Zealand Chief Executive Officer David Hisco has stepped down after a review of revealed mis-characterization of personal expenses involving the use of chauffeured cars and wine storage.
Over a nine-year period, Hisco failed to accurately report the expenses, which was a breach of the standards of trust and transparency the board requires, ANZ Bank New Zealand Chairman John Key told reporters Monday in Auckland. The sums involved were less than NZ$100,000 ($64,000) and the money doesn’t need to be paid back.
“The board was concerned about how he has was characterizing certain expenses and transactions following an internal review of personal expenses,” Key said. “Specifically this related to the long-term personal use of corporate chauffeured cars, as well as charging the company for storage without proper disclosures.”
Hisco, who has led New Zealand’s largest lender since 2010, has been on extended sick leave since late May. He will receive one-year’s salary and accrued long-service leave, but forfeit rights to ANZ shares and options valued at about NZ$6.4 million. His departure comes a month after the bank was censured by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for persistent failure to comply with rules around modeling risk-capital requirements.
Key said a review of expenses across all executives at parent bank Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. revealed some anomalies which were subsequently investigated, and he became aware of the matter about three months ago.
The issue with Hisco was a “one-off” with no evidence of a systemic problem, Key said.
Hisco believed he had the authority to use the cars in New Zealand because he was an expat and from the nature of some discussions he’d had with executives in Australia, Key said.
“We accept that,” Key said. “What we don’t accept is the way they were reported in our accounts. He has an explanation for why it was reported the way it was. I don’t think it meets the standard the New Zealand board and I set, and for that reason it was a pretty simple decision on both sides that we should part company.”
While Hisco didn’t accept all of the concerns raised by the board, he accepts accountability given his leadership position and agreed the characterization of the expenses fell short of the standards required, the bank said in an earlier statement.
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