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ANZ follows rivals with strike over pay

ANZ will follow its rivals in copping a first strike on executive pay, with about a third of shareholders voting against the lender’s remuneration report.

Chairman David Gonski told Wednesday’s annual general meeting in Perth that 34 per cent of early votes went against ANZ’s remuneration report, meaning the lender follows rivals Westpac and NAB in suffering a first strike.

“The board acknowledges the very real concerns of those who have voted against the report and I assure you we will continue to work hard in 2019 to ensure further alignment between compensation and shareholder interests,” Mr Gonski told the AGM.

Although the scale of the shareholder revolt fell far short of those at Westpac and NAB, the proportion of votes against the remuneration report was still comfortably above the 25 per cent required for a first strike.

The trio now face the possibility of a second strike and a board spill at next year’s AGM.

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott took a near $1 million pay cut after a year of declining profits, a falling share price and industry-wide reputational damage.

His performance-related remuneration was cut 23 per cent to $3.15 million, reducing his overall package to $5.25 million from $6.2 million in 2017, but shareholders apparently did not feel this went far enough.

ANZ last month said statutory remuneration for the chief executive and other executive roles was down almost 40 per cent in the past three years.

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