The FMA said today it has completed its inquiry into disclosure by ANZ of the sale of the property at 269 St Heliers Bay Road by Arawata Assets Limited to Deborah Veronica Walsh (the wife of former CEO, David Hisco) and has determined that ANZ New Zealand Group should have disclosed this as a related party transaction in its 2017 financial statements.
The FMA determination is primarily based on the nature of the transaction which, in our view, makes this disclosure material for the financial reporting purposes.
ANZ disagrees with the FMA’s finding as it considers the transaction not to be material information on the basis that this disclosure could not influence the economic decisions of the users of financial statements.
In terms of the valuations, the FMA has not assessed the appropriateness of the sale price as this is the matter for other agencies to consider.
The FMA has informed the Reserve Bank of New Zealand of its determination, reflecting the RBNZ’s role in banking supervision, and as part of the joint focus on conduct and culture. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), as the primary regulator of ANZ’s parent company, has also been informed.
The FMA has engaged with NZICA as the front line regulator for auditors, for it to consider whether to assess the auditor’s procedures in determining the disclosures in the audited 2017 financial statements.
The FMA is continuing to engage with ANZ and will require it to issue a corrective statement relating to the 2017 financial statements. The FMA expects ANZ to review its internal financial reporting in light of this issue.