Billion-dollar bank bosses
THE big five banks targeted in the Turnbull government’s financial sector crackdown paid senior executives more than $1.2 billion in wages and bonuses in the past five years, new data has revealed.
In a move which will further sour the relationship between the banks and Canberra, senior executives at the big banks will be licensed by the financial regulator APRA and could be sacked or lose their bonus if they misbehave.
Bank bosses at the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank, ANZ and Macquarie will have their wages monitored and lucrative bonuses will be frozen under a radical new plan announced on Budget night.
A new analysis provided to The Sunday Telegraph reveals the five banks in the firing line spent more than $1 billion on their top directors and executives in the past five years, including more than $284 mil- lion in fiscal year 2015-16. Macquarie Bank topped the list, paying a whopping $456 million to its senior executives over the past five years. The bank’s boss Nicholas Moore is the highest-paid banking boss in Australia with a pay packet of more than $18 million.
Commonwealth Bank was the second-biggest spender on senior staff, forking out more than $2177 million to executives.es.
Bank bosseses at Westpac shared more than $216 million in the past five years; more than $191 1 went to senior or staff at ANZ and $153 million at NAB.
Under the new regime, executives will have 40 per cent of their variable pay — and 60 per cent for chief executives — deferred for four years to ensure banks are making long-term decisions.
Australian Institute of Company Directors general manager advocacy Louise Petschler slammed the move as an “intrusive regulatory approach with unprecedented government powers to monitor recruitment and pay.
“Extensive consultation will be required with the industry to avoid unintended consequences,” Ms Petschler said.
Treasurer Scott Morrison said its Banking Executive Accountability Regime will ensure banks and their execu executives are held acca accountable when th they fail to meet expectations.
“Bank executives in key roles will have to be registered and if they muck u up they’ll be der deregistered,” Mr Morris Morrison said. “That means they can’t carry their problems to another bank and their bonuses can be pulled back. This is all modelled on a similar system that has been working properly in the UK.”
The populist move follows a series of scandals involving the banks and Labor’s push for an electorally popular royal commission into the sector.