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English should work with Aussies to fix CEO pay

For immediate release
Thursday 18 November 2010

Bill English should work with Aussies to fix CEO pay

Bank workers’ union Finsec is urging Finance Minister Bill English to work with his Australian counterpart Wayne Swan on rules governing bank executive pay.

The Finance Minister has expressed concern about the size of the Westpac CEO’s pay package, but has ruled out new laws to curb excessive executive remuneration.

“Bill English should talk to Wayne Swan and take a Trans Tasman approach to this issue. Australia will be making announcements about new bank regulation soon. It makes sense for there to be a common approach,” said Finsec Campaigns Director Andrew Campbell.

“It is the same banks on both sides of the Tasman and the CEOs of the New Zealand banks are usually on the executive teams of their parent companies so they are likely to be covered in some way by the new Australian rules,” said Campbell.

“Bill English said the bank should front to its customers, but customers and shareholders need the backing of government and new rules to control corporate excesses. Ordinary customers and shareholders can’t tell the bank what to do, but regulators and governments can.”

“Government needs to set the boundaries in order to deliver more sensible pay for bank bosses. There are a range of options that can and should be explored. Salary caps are not the only way for this to be done.”

“We call on the Finance Minister to take appropriate steps to work in with the changes being undertaken by the Australian government to curb these corporate excesses.”

ENDS

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