Criticism of the banking sector by regulators hasn't stopped Westpac from giving its New Zealand chief executive David McLean a pay bump.

Figures from Westpac's annual report, released today alongside its full year financial result, show McLean's total remuneration rose A$14,548 to A$2.285 million ($2.455m) in the year to September 30.

That was in contrast to Brian Hartzer, chief executive of parent Westpac Banking Corporate whose total remuneration took a big hit falling from A$6.572m to A$5.052m.

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Banks on both side of the Tasman have been under immense pressure in the wake of Australia's Royal Commission into misconduct in banking and financial services turned up a raft of issues in the sector.

In November the New Zealand government said the banks were "on notice" after a report by regulators the Reserve Bank and the Financial Markets Authority found "significant weaknesses" in the way New Zealand banks govern and manage conduct risks, and changes needed to be made.

Banks had until March this year to come up with individual plans to address specific issues raised by the regulator.

But even those responses didn't impress the regulators with a further warning to directors and senior management that accountability goes to the top and that big questions remain about culture at a governance level.

But that hasn't stopped at least one bank boss from getting a pay rise. McLean's fixed remuneration rose from A$849,488 to A$861,551 which also helped boost his superannuation benefit from A$81,444 to A$87,710.

His short-term cash incentive fell from A$498,439 to A$426,975 and his non-monetary benefits were also down from A$55,885 to A$1,194.

But that was offset by a rise in shares rights which were boosted from A$785,206 to A$907,580.

McLean as chief executive of Westpac New Zealand since February 2015 and has been with the bank since 1999. He originally trained as a lawyer.


The Westpac boss' pay was slightly lower than rival ASB bank chief executive Vittoria Shortt whose pay packet was revealed in August.

ASB chief executive Vittoria Shortt total remuneration was A$2.31 million. Photo/Doug Sherring.
ASB chief executive Vittoria Shortt total remuneration was A$2.31 million. Photo/Doug Sherring.

Shortt received A$2.31 million ($2.48m) in total remuneration in her first full year as ASB bank chief executive.

Shortt, who moved in February 2018 from a group executive role at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to head up New Zealand subsidiary ASB, earned a base salary of $937,427 in the year to June 2019, CBA accounts show.

The balance was made up by various incentive payments, superannuation and non-monetary benefits.

The figure compares with the A$2.7m ($2.9m) she received the previous year, which included the seven months before she stepped up to lead the local branch of the bank.

Remuneration for the BNZ chief executive Angela Mentis and former ANZ New Zealand chief executive David Hisco will be revealed in the next few weeks.