GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – A is for Avarice


Whatever machinations went on behind the closed doors of the ANZ last week that has led to the departure of David Hisco ( the highest paid CEO of any bank in our country) it seems the Bank boss’s inflated sense of entitement played a role in his downfall.

Former NZ Prime Minister John Key said Hisco spent thousands of dollars on what should have been personal expenses such as long term use of corporate chaffeur cars and wine storage.

The bank’s annual report shows he earned total remuneration of $3.123 million in 2018.

He will apparently be paid out 12 months’ notice ( about $2m) and will not have to repay the expenses although he will forfeit his rights to around $6.4 million in equity.

Under Hisco’s watch hundreds of people lost their jobs at the bank at very time it was recording mega profits.

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For example – in 2014 after posting a yearly profit that amounted to $1.7 billion, he accepted an 11% pay rise in his salary, making his paycheck $4.7 million a year (an incredible $2,157 an hour), making him the highest paid CEO in New Zealand.

He then offered the workers between 0-3% pay rises, and forced casualization.

What a guy.

If you ever need an example of what neoliberalism did to banking by deregulating that industry, the salary of David Hisco and the meanness of his attitude towards the jobs and salaries of his employees is worth remembering.

Certainly for anyone who thinks the A in ANZ stands for Australia would do well to remember that A also stands for Avarice.


Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.


    • Helena – Typical bloke – but this ain’t Adam and Eve. Nor is the issue just wines and cars – that’s the bread for circuses part.

      Back when Lockwood Smith was in Parliament, people tut tutted saying that his old mum used a chauffeur-driven ministerial car to go shopping at Kirkaldie and Staines. I loved it. I thought what a nice son Mrs Smith has.

      Some said that the ministerial car double-parked while Mrs Smith was shopping, but I didn’t believe it – not when he could have driven round and round the block – or maybe he did both, who knows ? There are lots of stories of cars and entitlements – and of MP’s kids getting caught too.

      What I am wondering is, if this ANZ chap was that dodgy, surely he would have gotten a knighthood ?

  1. Great stuff, these people are sooooo greedy. I do wish that everyone would bank with Kiwibank and that the government fund it more, and we could stop sending zillions of profits off shore every year.

  2. Good post, however the fact that the expenses were leaked all over the news suggests there is a very bad smell around ANZ…. they wanted to get rid of him, why?

    More scandals may come out, and maybe he is being set up as the scape goat so the board can walk free… teflon Key and all that.

    The other issue, is that if you can’t monitor employee expenses for 9 years and don’t pick it up in audits then, ANZ shouldn’t be running a bank, and sure as shit not self certifying their risks!

    Sad our bovine government thinks overseas business or the increasing NZ façadism for overseas business (with a NZ director like Shipley) is all good and does not require any oversight and regulation like overseas banking that makes $580k p/h

    Could be why mainzeal went bust (Jenny’s got her eye on millions of ironsand to mine on behalf of business) and companies like Tegal, Mondelez etc, asset strip and create massive debts here so they don’t have to pay taxes and then start redundancies, or in the Tegal case, want to stink out entire towns!

  3. There is one part of this story that I believe is being misreported deliberately and someone needs to ask the tough question.
    “he will forfeit his rights to around $6.4 million in equity”.
    What exactly are those rights and what is their true value. Normally CEO’s hold options which they can exercise but they have to pay to convert these options to shares. Or they can be granted shares as compensation for performance to agreed targets.
    But either way, it is almost certain his interest in those rights was not worth 6.4 millions, and conceivably was worth nothing.
    This is important, as John Key is making it appear that Hisco is worse off, the equity being worth far more than the tens of thousands of expenses, whereas in reality, not only is Hisco getting off scot free, he is also getting a 2m payout.
    One other thing is almost certain going on past performance. It is almost certain John Key is not being truthful about the entire situation, including the sale of the bach.

  4. Huh? I never thought the date for Christmas was shifted to today!
    Seeing hisco the bubble-head come a gutser is the very best present ever. What’s equally fabulous is that, that little shit stain jonky’s floundering in the same pool of excrement up to his hooked nose. ( No disrespect to actual shit stains. )
    As for irony that just keeps giving? That rat from the bnz making loud squeaky noises? You should keep your head down and your mouth shut little rat. Or you might be next.
    All it takes to bring down the mighty Banksters is to chip out that first little brick from their foundations.
    I wonder? Who will be the first politician to come out yapping? Calling for a ‘public inquiry’ and, of course, finding nothing to concern our little heads about? Some small, arse licking, lap poodle like winston peters? I think his day’s are done. Any bets on david ‘ twerk-meister’ seemore ?
    Any AO/NZ banks not owned wholly by AO/NZ’ers should be asset stripped then deported. The buildings should be converted in to comfortable housing for the homeless currently sleeping in the streets below them.
    Voting in general elections must then be made compulsory. It’s compulsory to enrol so it must therefore be compulsory to vote. Voting is the single most valuable contribution one can give to the free and democratic society we enjoy. Out there, in our cities, towns and countryside you will find monuments to those kids who died to protect our democracy and today? Kids can not bother to vote because “ Fuck it! I’m getting stoned and go surfing.”
    Following on from that; once voting is compulsory and from that, we must all vote for the board of directors for a state owned and run general retail banking infrastructure running in parallel with a public/private chattels and income insurer.
    Otherwise? We’re going to be constantly fucked and not in that good way. ( Apologies for my vulgar prose.)
    Now? In the interests of free trade and deregulation? Lets see how the retail banks and insurers compete with that?
    Not well, I’d suspect.
    Isn’t that why ‘They’ , douglas et al, brought our fabulous infrastructure to its knees back in 1984? To sell us, like slaves, to the banksters and privateers?
    ( Jesus! I can’t stop! )
    Why do you think the biggest, grandest, flashiest, most glitteringilist buildings in down-town Auckland are bankster buildings!? We’re a small population. Tiny. Not big.
    AND! We’re agrarian. We earn our money from agrarianism. ( Going mad. Inventing words now. )
    So? Why? How!? Those enormous banks sucking out our money? The Big-Puff Bubble-Heads making multiples of millions of dollars a year to do what!!?? What do they actually do? Oversee? Oversee what? Manage? Manage what? What do they do?
    The truth, of course, is that they do fuck all.
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says.
    Mediation! MEDIATION!!??
    How about this for ‘mediation Damien? All farmers go out on a rolling strike along with their down-income stream service industry Brothers and Sisters? All shearers, all dairy workers, all railway workers, all road transport drivers, all engineers, all builders, all plumbers, all electricians. All and every worker directly, and indirectly, involved within our agrarian primary industry. I forgot shipping and water-siders. That would just about take out the entire AO/NZ workforce Damian.
    All out on strike? Sit down. Have a wee whisky and think about that Damien.

  5. 63 Billion ?????

    At least 63 billionin farmer loans is the tip of the iceberg, plus the so called property boom with housing being potentially much higher.

    So you may well be looking at well over a hundred or so billion these crims are extracting from Kiwis over the life of a loan plus of course interest on those loans of money that are generated mainly out of thin air.

    Slush funds of mere million matter little to these cartels and international crooks. NZ is but one of many “client” states that have relinquished theses right to have a state bank, but have been corrupted to give the countries lifeblood to the mob.

    Just take note bank loads are not generated from deposits as banks are permitted by NZ law to have loans exceed deposits or other like assets by a massive 9 times over.

    The corrupt CEO is hardly news.

    The massive drain on NZ by banks is not being talked about. 97% of new money ( new out of thin air) is created by private bank loans (RBNZ website quote)

  6. We know what’s going on, we just have difficultly … It’s not the fall off the cliff that gets you, it’s the bit at the end…
    Great work Bryan, thank you.

  7. If all this isn’t bad enough, Key – who has presided as Chairman of the Board for as long or almost as long as Hisco has been the CEO (9 years) and did not pick up the discrepancies over this period of time – said that the bank was not going to recover the bank’s money Hisco had spent as his own financing his lavish life-style. Yet if it was you or me, we’d have restraining orders placed on our assets (what little I have), the SFO would be called in and we would be facing a prison sentence.

    • Correct YS. Every other week we see thieves appearing in court who have stolen from their employers, often from positions of management, or from the govt as beneficiaries.

      They are nearly all required to repay the money, including beneficiaries who would have to live to 200 to be able to pay off their debts.

      Yet here is a man, a man on a massive salary, who John Key says has not been asked to repay money which the ANZ believes he was not entitled to.

      Why not ?

      Are there different laws for the rich? No, there are not different laws for the rich.

      If John Key et al feel they have no responsibility to ANZ shareholders to recoup wrongly taken monies, that in itself is quite interesting – but there will be a reason.

      Anyway, if I go nuts and rob a bank – preferably ANZ – and get caught – as most bank robbers do- then can I claim this as a precedent, that if David H doesn’t have to pay them back, then why should I?

    • John Key has been chairman of the board of ANZ for about 2 years. I think he resigned as PM in November 2016 (approx). Therefore he has not been on the board of ANZ for anywhere as long as you suggest.

      • Thank you TB – yes you are right. I stand corrected and I apologise.

        However, even over a two-year period I would have thought the Board should have identified this discrepancy. It didn’t – it was the Australian parent company that picked it up which raises a further issue, which is the very close control the Australian banks have over their New Zealand operations and yet they boast that their NZ banks are their own entities, but for the fact that all the profits head back over the Tasman.

    • In interview John Key happily chirped that Hisco had had a ‘blindspot’ with respect to his rabid spending. Is this elite-speak for ‘someone in our club got caught’ or what? Ffs. I’m waiting for Mrs Hisco to do the YouTube mega haul video to confirm their spending because I doubt the full story will be told by the ANZ board.

    • And its Kiwi blood given freely while in a comatose state of ponzi “democracy”

      OK law binds us tightly while the blood flows.

      Kiwis seem spellbound and utterly fail to see what is happening to us and NZ. Obedient confused cowardly zombies.

      Where are the baying mobs in the streets when john key openly defied the referendum on energy asset sales.

      • Correction of typo.

        UK law ( not “OK law”)

        Imported lock stock and barrel around the colonies.

  8. The ‘A’ in ANZ stands for arseholes and particularly Shon Key who oversees the exporting of $billions.

  9. The smiling assassin at work, up to his old trick(s) again. The question now is, who is ‘he’ going to put in place?

  10. Remember in Star Wars when Leia says : “Governor Tarkin, I should’ve expected to find you holding Vader’s leash. I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board.”

    For Tarkin read “Key”, and for Vader read “Hisco”, and you get the picture.

  11. Both David Hisco and John Key seem to believe they had every right to spend other peoples’ i.e customers money; on yet more Vanity Projects eg a wine cellar.

    Key’s cavalier attitude towards the excessive spending shows how ridiculous he is. But we all know when it’s not HIS(Key’s)money involved he doesn’t give a toss how it is spent.

    It does make me wonder as to how much of Hisco’s spending made its way into say the NZ National Party coffers by way of ‘donations’?

    What has angered me about all this is a number of things. For example there are alot of low income workers(probably even ANZ staff)on less than say $50,000 a year who are junior in status in say the ANZ hierarchy who are ashamed of what Hisco and Key have done and/or said(even in the past when it came to pay negotiations).

    Right now a junior staff member of ANZ is being blamed for one thing or another. This habit of blaming someone else and especially a junior staff member(or an emotional staff member in parliament)seems to the modus operandi of the NZ National Party, its current and former MPs and even the National Party supporters eg lets call David Hisco a National Party supporter.

    Why National seem incapable of taking responsibility for events etc reflects badly back upon them. Their ‘blame everyone else but the oh so perfect National Party’ proves to me they don’t respect anyone who is just an ordinary worker eg an office junior.

    In deliberately kept low income NZ where so many low income workers are earning less than $50,000 a year it must surely be a kick in the teeth for NZers who have debts with the ANZ? Most low income NZers who owe money to the ANZ would be dragged over the coals and even likely thrown into prison for not paying their bills.

    But when it comes to the so-called executives of the ANZ there are two rules. One set of rules applies to the executives of the ANZ and that approach is “Oh dear. What a shame. Never mind. No need to go to jail as you have given enough to the political party of John Key’s choice. The other rule is even if a staff member took say $50.00 they would be fired on the spot.

    The thing is there are a heck of alot of Zeros after the Five that David Hisco took but the approach of the so-called Chairman of the ANZ is, as I have said earlier, very cavalier.

    I would so love to know what Key is getting in pay packet and perks of the job but I guess a OIA enquiry would have his ANZ staff being as cavalier in responding as Key’s staff were whilst he was part-time prime minister of New Zilland(as he called our country) and New Zillanders(as he called the population).

  12. Actually Hisco’s behaviour is not remarkable.

    Key and ANZ are part of a deeper game. Hisco was sacrificed to save reputations.

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