Australian Super, Australia’s largest superannuation fund, will vote against the re-election of high profile board member Andrew Mohl at the Commonwealth Bank’s annual general meeting on Thursday.
Australian Super is one of the CBA’s largest shareholders with a position of over $2 billion.
The move will express the fund’s displeasure at the AUSTRAC scandal which saw the bank accused by regulators of failing to comply with the law on almost 54,000 occasions between November 2012 and September 2015.
Former ACCC chief Graeme Samuel, who is leading an inquiry launched by APRA into its culture and governance in the wake of a series of financial scandals, has publicly expressed doubts about the bank’s board makeup. Mr Samuel, in evidence to a Parliamentary committee, has raised the suggestion that the bank’s directors did not have the skills or values required for the job.
The CBA allegedly failed to report cash transactions of $10,000 or more made through its intelligent deposit machines to AUSTRAC in time for assessment. Those allegations are being prosecuted and if found to be true would put the bank in contravention of anti money laundering and terrorism laws.
“Australian Super is an active owner of its members’ investments and votes accordingly,” An Australian Super spokesperson told The New Daily in a statement.
However the fund will not vote down CBA’s remuneration report which, if voted down would automatically trigger a board spill as it would constitute a second strike after being voted down last year.
“We will be voting in favour of the remuneration report and we appreciate the work that has been done to address the shareholder concerns with last year’s report.”
Mr Mohl, is a CBA non-executive director and finance sector stalwart having served as chief executive of AMP. He is seeking re-election alongside Sir David Higgins and Wendy Stops.
The bank has said it would like Mr Mohl to remain for another year as the $3.8 billion sale of its insurance business Comminsure to AIA takes place.
The bank has flagged that non-executive directors Harrison Young and Launa Inman will not be seek re-election.
A class action has been launched on behalf of CBA shareholders by law firm Maurice Blackburn. The class action has been launched on behalf of all shareholders who bought CBA shares between July 2015 and August 3, 2017.
Top executives at the bank, including outgoing chief executive Ian Narev and current board chairwoman Catherine Livingstone, have been singled out in the class action as knowing about the compliance issues but failing to act.