New CBA boss’ eye-watering pay packet

Mr Comyn will take charge of Australia’s biggest bank on April 9 and says he aims to rebuild trust in CBA, which has been beset by a series of scandals — the most recent of which forced Mr Narev to announce his retirement.

Mr Comyn, who at 42 will be the youngest chief executive at any of the big four banks, will receive fixed remuneration of $2.2 million and be eligible for another $2.2 million in short-term incentives – plus up to $3.96 million in long-term incentives.

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Commonwealth Bank’s new CEO Matt Comyn. Picture: Hollie Adams/The Australian

Commonwealth Bank’s new CEO Matt Comyn. Picture: Hollie Adams/The AustralianSource:News Corp Australia

That means he could be paid as much as $8.36 million in the 2019 financial year.

Mr Narev received $8.77 million in 2016 and $5.71 million in 2017, when the bank’s executives forfeited short-term bonuses over AUSTRAC’s allegations the bank failed to report suspicious transactions quickly enough.

Mr Comyn was paid $2.35 million in 2017 and was among those who lost their short-term bonuses.

Mr Comyn has led CBA’s retail banking unit since 2012 and said the lender’s size meant it had to be held to the highest standards.

“By virtue of the position CBA holds in the community we need to equally demonstrate the highest levels of integrity and operational standards to earn stronger levels of trust within the community and regulators,” Mr Comyn said after the announcement today.

“The last six months in particular have been very challenging and I am committed to working with the board, the executive team and our wonderful people to rebuild trust in the Commonwealth Bank.”

Chairman Catherine Livingstone said Mr Comyn, was best placed to maintain the bank’s momentum and strong financial performance.

Matt Comyn with Ian Narev before House Economics Committee at Parliament House last year. Picture: Gary Ramage

Matt Comyn with Ian Narev before House Economics Committee at Parliament House last year. Picture: Gary RamageSource:News Corp Australia

“In selecting the new CEO, the board considered, very carefully, which candidate would be best suited to manage the unique combination of the bank’s commercial and operational priorities,” Ms Livingstone said.

“Of immediate concern, the bank currently faces a range of reputational, regulatory and legal issues that have overshadowed what has otherwise been very strong progress and performance.”

Ms Livingstone would not discuss AUSTRAC’s Federal Court case in detail but said Mr Comyn was not solely responsible for any failings in the retail unit

“We regard this as an organisation-wide matter for which we all take collective responsibility,” Ms Livingstone said.

Narev announced in August he would leave the bank at the end of the 2018 financial year.

According to reports Narev took a 55 per cent pay cut in his last year at the bank.

CBA’s annual report, released in August, showed that Mr Narev received total remuneration of $5.5 million in the 12 months to June 30, down from $12.3 million a year earlier following allegations the bank breached money-laundering and terrorism-financing laws.

“Although the group has delivered strong results for shareholders in FY17, the board recognises the significant damage caused to the group’s trust and reputation,” remuneration committee chairman Sir David Higgins wrote to shareholders.

Commonwealth Bank has been hit with another 100 alleged contraventions of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws, including failing to quickly report two suspicious matters relating to the financing of terrorism.

Mr Narev has led Australia’s largest bank to a series of record annual profits but was under pressure after AUSTRAC alleged CBA of breaching money laundering and terrorism financing laws.

In August, CBA announced an eighth straight record annual profit of $9.9 billion, but the news was overshadowed by the AUSTRAC allegations.

Chairman Catherine Livingstone said at the time New Zealander Narev would retire.

“The board recognises heightened public interest in executive remuneration, particularly having regard to the civil penalty proceedings initiated last week by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC),” Ms Livingstone said in a statement.

Mr Narev was paid $1.43 million in short-term cash bonuses in the previous financial year, with CBA handing out a total $8 million to the CEO and 11 executives.

“In discussions with Ian, we have … agreed it is important for the business that we deal with the speculation and questions about his tenure,” Ms Livingstone said in a statement to the ASX at the time.

“Today’s statement provides that clarity and will ensure he can continue to focus, as CEO, on successfully managing the business.”

It was also revealed that Commonwealth Bank executives would be hit in the pocket over the bank’s more than 53,000 alleged breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.

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