Which New Zealand bank boss earned the most?

BNZ chief executive Angela Mentis’ pay package was worth $500,000 more than her nearest Kiwi rival, annual reports show.

Mentis, who took up the top job in January 2018, had total remuneration worth $2.43 million in the year to September 30.

That was down from $3.07m in the prior financial year but remains substantially higher than the chief executives of ASB, Westpac and the country’s largest bank, ANZ.

A BNZ spokesman said Mentis’ salary reflected the huge complexity of her role.

“It includes non-monetary benefits related to her relocation in New Zealand, superannuation and other equity-based benefits such as shares and rights.

“In July, to reflect the challenging environment, Angie and the BNZ executive team have forgone their short-term cash bonuses for this financial year. In addition, the BNZ board also made the decision to donate 20 per cent of their directors’ fees to charities that support vulnerable people.”

Mentis received a cash salary of A$1,304,386 ($1,377,544), which was up from the year before’s A$1,302,491.

Her non-monetary benefit fell from A$309,404 to A$246,600.

Non-monetary benefits can include relocation costs including temporary accommodation, furniture rental, utility costs, dependant travel costs, insurance, stamp duty, associated fringe benefit tax and other benefits. For international assignees this may also include health fund benefits and tax advice.

Mentis’ superannuation, other long-term benefits, and share-based benefits were at similar levels to the prior year. But the value of her rights dropped from A$1,066,590 to A$513,167.

Mentis also has a loan with the bank which was A$681,362 at the start of the financial year but fell to A$442,183 by September 30.

The nearest to her was ASB’s Vittoria Shortt who had a package worth $1.93m in the year to June 30.

Shortt took a more than $500,000 hit to her pay package in the bank’s latest financial year after her short-term bonus was slashed.

Figures from the annual report of ASB’s parent Commonwealth Bank of Australia show Shortt received total remuneration of A$1.83m in the year to June 30, down from A$2.3m the previous year.

Although her base pay rose from A$937,427 to A$948,383, Shortt’s employer superannuation contribution dropped slightly.

But it was her cash short-term variable reward or bonus that fell the most, dropping from A$940,777 to A$385,239.

The next highest is Westpac’s David McLean on $1.9m.

McLean also took a big pay cut. His remuneration dropped from A$2,285,010 in 2019 to A$1,799,937 a fall of A$485,073.

While McLean’s fixed remuneration rose from A$861,551 to A$989,209 he received no cash short-term variable reward. All the bank’s executives had to forgo this bonus.

His non-monetary benefits rose from A$1194 to A$3497 while his superannuation benefit also rose from A$87,710 to A$94,548. The value of his awarded share rights also fell from A$907,580 to A$712,683.

The annual report also shows McLean increased his loan from the bank from A$625,816 to A$681,206. McLean has been with the bank since 1999 and New Zealand chief executive since 2015.

Surprisingly ANZ New Zealand chief executive Antonia Watson was the lowest-paid of the big four banks, despite ANZ being the largest bank. But she is the most recent appointment.

Watson officially became CEO of the ANZ in December last year but had been in an acting position since June after former chief executive David Hisco left the bank following an investigation into personal expenses.

According to its statutory remuneration disclosures Watson’s package was worth A$1,793,639 for the year to September 30.

In Australia Ross McEwan, the chief executive of National Australia Bank, the parent of the BNZ, was the lowest paid of the big four bank executives.

McEwan, a New Zealander, earned A$2.42m. Westpac’s CEO earned A$3.5m, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO Matt Comyn earned A$3.9m. ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliot, also a New Zealander, had a total package worth A$7.25m.

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