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All the Big 4 bank CEOs have taken massive pay cuts

Jessica Yun
From left to right: CBA CEO Matt Comyn, NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn, Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer, and ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott. <em>Photos: Getty, AAP</em>
From left to right: CBA CEO Matt Comyn, NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn, Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer, and ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott. Photos: Getty, AAP

The bosses of CBA, NAB, ANZ and Westpac have personally paid for the damage of the Royal Commission.

Since the major inquiry into wrongdoings in financial services was announced this time last year, it wasn’t going to take long before it claimed the scalps, and paypackets, of financial services executives.

Also read: 3 take-outs from the banking royal commission’s interim report

The top brass of the four major banks have personally paid the price for greedy and sales-driven behaviour, with their paypackets copping pricey haircuts.

NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn has taken a $2.073 million pay cut after the lender’s full-year cash earnings fell 14.2 per cent and the bank owned up to poor customer treatment.

Mr Thorburn’s total remuneration for the 12 months to September 30 was $4.375 million, down from $6.448 million in the previous financial year.

The 32 per cent pay cut is the largest among the big four bank chief executives in both percentage and absolute terms.

Also read: Greed, short-term profits at core of banks’ bad behaviour: Royal Commission

Matt Comyn, who took the helm of CBA from Ian Narev in April this year, has forfeited $1.9 million in bonuses in 2017 and $653,000 over 2018, taking home $8.4 million this year.

In total, the Commonwealth Bank has announced a collective pay cut of $100 million across 400 executives over 2017 and 2018.

Westpac’s CEO Brian Hartzer has seen his paypacket drop from $5.5 million to $4.9 million.

It represents an 11 per cent slash to his salary, taking home $600,000 less.

Also read: ASIC infiltrates big banks to tackle bad behaviour

But Hartzer wasn’t the only one who copped a pay cut – all the other Westpac group executives, bar one, had short-term cash bonuses slashed.

ANZ chief Shayne Elliott was paid $950,000 less in 2018 ($6.2 million) than he was in 2017 ($5.25 million).

Other ANZ executives also took home less in this year than they did last year.

The show’s not over yet

Bank and wealth giant chiefs will have to face the music one last time as the Royal Commission kicks off its seventh round of public hearings next Monday in Sydney.

The final round of hearings will look at “causes of misconduct and conduct falling below community standards and expectations by financial services entities”. Potential regulatory reform will also be considered.

Also read: This is how banks can win your trust back: Deloitte

CBA and Westpac will be fronting the royal commission again, alongside Macquarie and corporate regulator ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission).

Corporate watchdog APRA will also be back in the hot seat.

All eyes will be on the new heads of CBA and AMP, Matt Comyn and Mike Wilkins respectively, who were appointed earlier this year after the inquiry exposed widespread wrongdoing.

Earlier today, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced that the Federal Court and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions would be granted an extra $51.5 million in funding to go towards litigation costs involved in dealing with misbehaving entities in the financial services sector.

— with AAP and Reuters

Also read: The Chaser’s Julian Morrow sounds a warning to consumers

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