ANZ's New Zealand CEO David Hisco leaves bank after concerns over personal expenses, including the use of chauffeured cars

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – MAY 27: ANZ CEO David Hisco speaks during a post-budget breakfast at Te Papa on May 27, 2016 in Wellington, New Zealand.

The chief executive of ANZ Bank’s New Zealand business, David Hisco, is leaving the bank after concerns about how he documented personal expenses, including the long-term use of corporate-chauffeured cars.

New Zealand’s largest bank on Monday said Mr Hisco was leaving following “health issues,” and the board’s concern over how some of his expenses were characterised.

ANZ NZ chairman John Key said in a media conference that some of the concerns related to the use of a corporate car, and the amounts in question were in the tens of thousands of dollars. Mr Hisco would forfeit about $6.4 million in equity. He will receive 12 months notice and leave entitlements, Mr Key said.

Mr Key said Mr Hisco was not paying the money back because he was “adamant” he had the authority to spend it.

“David is adamant that he had authority for the expenditure that was undertaken. If he did have that authority it was oral in nature, so it’s difficult to establish one way or the other,” Mr Key told journalists.

“What is at the at the heart of this issue though, is the way that that expenditure was recognised in our books, in other words, it was either in our view mischaracterised or there was a lack of transparency. So it’s not about the money itself, it’s the way it was recognised in the ANZ records,” Mr Key said.

Asked at a media conference in New Zealand if Mr Hisco had been fired, Mr Key said the two sides had “parted company.”

Antonia Watson will take over as acting chief executive, replacing Hisco, who has been facing health issues. She described it as a “day of shock and disappointment” for the bank’s staff of more than 7,000.

He has been with ANZ more than 30 years, and CEO of ANZ New Zealand for nine years.

ANZ said in a statement its board expressed concern over certain transactions following an internal review of personal expenses, while the lender added that Hisco did not accept all concerns raised by the board.

Reuters was not immediately able to reach Hisco for comment.

With Reuters.

This article was first published by the Australian Financial Review. Read the original here.

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