The Financial Markets Authority has confirmed it is looking into the issues around "related party transactions" in ANZ's financial statements in response to the media attention on the sale of a house to ex-chief executive David Hisco's wife.
The house at 269 St Heliers Bay Rd was purchased by ANZ New Zealand-owned subsidiary company Arawata Assets in 2011 for $7.5 million and, despite a booming property market over the next six years, the property was on-sold to Hisco's wife Deborah Veronica Walsh in July 2017 for $6.9m.
As of July 1 2017, the property at 269 St Heliers Bay Rd had a Rating Valuation of $10.75m, according to Terranet.
ANZ has maintained that the sale was based on independent valuations but had declined to comment on the specifics of the transaction.
"Following consultation with ANZ and the RBNZ, ANZ approached the FMA and will voluntarily provide the FMA with all relevant information regarding its reporting of related party transactions in its financial statements [that has been the subject of recent media commentary]," an FMA spokesman said.
"The FMA will consider the information provided to determine what further steps are required."
Hisco has already left his job at ANZ in a cloud following revelations about inappropriate expenses - including chauffeur driven cars and wine storage.
But the issue around the St Heliers house was not raised by the ANZ board in that context.
"We want to assure the FMA and RBNZ that our financial statements, which have been externally audited, comply with the relevant accounting standards," an ANZ spokesman said today. "We contacted them on the issue and are providing them with relevant information."
On Monday the RBNZ invoked Section 95 of the Reserve Bank Act to request two independent reports from the ANZ.
The Reserve Bank said the first report would cover ANZ New Zealand's compliance with its current and historic capital adequacy requirements.
On May 17 the Reserve Bank revoked ANZ's accreditation to model its own operational risk capital requirement due to a "persistent failure" in its controls and attestation process.
The second report would assess the effectiveness of ANZ New Zealand's Director's Attestation and Assurance framework, focussing on internal governance, risk management and internal controls.
It is expected that this report would look more directly at disclosure and culture issues as well as at Hisco's expenses.
However, the Reserve Bank's primary focus is always on the financial stability of the New Zealand banking sector - meaning specific employment issues would likely fall outside its brief.