ANZ improves its governance: RBNZ

The ANZ has improved a key aspect of its governance, according to the Reserve Bank (RBNZ).

Tuesday, March 29th 2022, 11:00AM

by Eric Frykberg

This follows a series of reports into the ANZ's Directors Attestation Framework.

The latest report, by Deloitte, was completed late last year after being commissioned by ANZ and has just been published by the RBNZ.

It was satisfied with ANZ's progress in 41 of 42 areas and the 42nd was on the way to completion.

An earlier report by Deloitte, in 2019, came at a time of the highly publicised sale of a house owned by an ANZ subsidiary to the wife of its former chief executive.

In fact, the Deloitte report found the sale was done at arms length with appropriate valuations.

But other aspects of ANZ governance were criticised and the bank got marked three out of five by Deloitte back then.

“To move to a 4 or 5, ANZ NZ would need to achieve significant uplifts in terms of the robustness and sustainability of its governance, risk management and controls,” Deloitte wrote in 2019.

The report went on to refer to “a level of complacency” and “a highly trusting working environment, which can, and did, lead to insufficient challenge of information and evidence”.

Two years later, Deloitte published an updated assessment of ANZ.

It said ANZ had improved.

“Our review identified that ANZ NZ has taken appropriate steps to address the recommendations from the 2019 review,” Deloitte wrote.

“There has been a marked uplift in the overall capabilities within ANZ NZ in respect to the attestations process, with heightened focus and scrutiny from Management,”

Deloitte wrote that there were elements of change still in the process of being embedded, but the key changes sought in the 2019 report had been appropriately addressed.

There had been a marked uplift in the overall capabilities within ANZ in respect to the attestation process, with heightened focus and scrutiny from management, executives and ANZ’s board.

But Deloitte added a rider: it was important for ANZ NZ to remain vigilant to confirm that the high standards in place did not lapse over time.

Commenting on the latest Deloitte report, the RBNZ expressed satisfaction.

“The review noted that a level of complacency in relation to the execution of some aspects of the directors attestation framework in 2019 is no more,” the RBNZ said.

“There has been a marked emphasis on adopting a ‘show me, don’t tell me’ governance approach at ANZ that aligns with our own strengthened supervisory policy.”

Tags: ANZ RBNZ

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