ANZ chief Shayne Elliott emailed David Gonski to ask for a 23% pay cut

Screnshot, Parliamentary Committee webcastANZ CEO Shayne Elliott.
  • Evidence presented at the banking royal commission today showed ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott asked for a 23% pay cut.
  • When asked why his pay should be reduced, Elliott told counsel assisting the commission that he was the “ultimate accountable person” for any misconduct.

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott has revealed he asked for a pay cut from the bank’s chairman, David Gonski.

Under examination by senior counsel assisting the commission, Rowena Orr, the session after lunch turned to executive remuneration.

Orr asked about four ANZ executives, including Elliott, who had their executive remuneration revised downward.

An email presented to the commission — written by Elliott this year and addressed to Gonski — revealed that Elliott took the view his pay should be reduced by 23%.

According to the SMH, the contents of the email were as follows.

“I will be making downward adjustments to the ExCo [executive committee] rem[uneration] recommendations at human resources committee. They mean the average percentage of target is 77 per cent for published execs.

I feel it’s very important that my own remuneration is at no higher than this. It’s about unity, accountability and frankly credibility – externally but even more importantly internally.

I can’t ask my people to be down 22 per cent unless my own rem reflects a similar number. I want you to reassess your recommended CEO rem as a result and have time to consider.”

When asked by Orr why he wrote the email, Elliott said he was the “ultimate accountable person” for any alleged misconduct by the bank.

“It’s a simplistic answer but I am the chief executive. I have a higher degree of responsibility and accountability than anybody else in the company,” Elliott said.

“What comes along with that is more public scrutiny. I think that’s entirely appropriate.”

Commissioner Hayne then asked Elliott whether in the absence of request for a pay cut, would his remuneration have otherwise been higher. Elliott said it would have been.

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