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ANZ boss takes staff on $1.2m luxury cruise after mass sacking

ANZ Bank’s CEO is paying recognition to hundreds of staff by taking them on an all-expenses-paid luxury cruise – days after the bank sacked over a thousand of its workers.

According to the Daily Telegraph, over two hundred staff will be accompanying ANZ’s chief executive Mike Smith on a five-day butler-serviced cruise on the “world’s best” luxury cruise liner being hired for over $NZ1.2 million.

Irony has engulfed the bank’s recent decisions after over a thousand workers at the company had been sacked merely days before word of the luxury trip had come out into the open, raising concerns among many about whether the bank is putting luxury before cost efficiency and employee job security.

In addition to the job cuts, the bank has also confirmed that backroom jobs are being outsourced to India and the Philippines.

Mike Smith was unavailable for immediate comment regarding the issue, with several ANZ spokespeople unable to provide any details of his whereabouts.

A spokesperson for Choice, an Australian consumer advocacy group, has said the bank’s advertising slogan “we live in your world” is not at all in touch with reality.

“The excesses of this trip reinforce the stereotype of fat cat bankers popping champagne corks on the high seas laughing about how they have been able to pull a fast one on home loan customers,” said Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn.

In response, an ANZ spokesman said the cruise is being organised for the bank’s top 100 performers, many of them junior staff who get little recognition for what they do.

“It is not about executives who are well paid, rather these are the people at the coal face in Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific on the phone and in branches or in the back office who are supporting our customers, helping them out,” he said.

The liner will cost the bank $A1 million ($NZ1.2 million) to hire, with a further $A750,000 ($NZ963,894) being spent on flights for staff to board the cruise liner in Singapore.

More by Robert McCambridge

Comments and questions

Thank god i dont have a mortgage to pay these fat cats to waste peoples money.

I do. I'm tired of hearing how tough it is in the banking industry and I'm sure the staff who have lost their jobs to save costs will also be surprised at this news. Very insensitive. But I guess if you are a banking executive, these are all just numbers. How can you not be cynical?

I am moving my BNZ account to anotehr bank

If you're going to move to ANZ, you'd better hurry before the staff all disappear on the cruise.

This is ANZ!!!! Not BNZ

And we wonder how the world went into the biggest global recession since the 1930s.

What company does not have a staff incentive program? I am off to work at ANZ - if there are any jobs left

Agree. Most decent companies have some staff incentives. Probably was in place well before the decision for redundancies - one is a one off and the other ongoing cost.
One is for high performers the other not - GET OVER IT!!!

As an ANZ frontline staff member, this cruise has been in planned for about a year - every year ANZ does something for their top performing branch/contact centre staff (and no not just sales, but for people like our staff looking after earthquake customers, etc) whether it is a cruise or holiday or whatever... Most major corporates run incentive programs like this... So don't see how frontline staff are "fat cats" as you put it?? And alas, I am not one of the few to go on this cruise!

5 days stuck on a boat with your boss! Is that an incentive?

This is obscene

Staff need uncentives - how about the incentive of having a job
And maybe a small bonus at year end

That is the reality of the current world we live in

Banks can't keep over rewarding staff for performance but not penalising them for poor performance. The only one being penalised when the shiite hits the fan is the customer

That's hardly cricket

If it is front line staff (what ANZ are saying) that are being rewards, lets not forget how the got this. Extracting more value out of customers!!!

ANZ have just remindered me that I should close my account with them. I had about a $1,000 in my operating account, which is getting charged on average $4.50 per month for the benefit of an overdraft facility; that I havent used in probably ten years.

Wonder how they justify that cost? Now I know the reason yet!! By my estimates, ANZ's costs would be way less than the overnight use of my money.

It only takes some 2500 accounts like mine to pay for this cruise, and its my bet there'd be 10's of thousand of accounts in this space.

Better to close your ANZ account, and put you money in tin foil under your mattress. You and the country would be way better off.

Initially I too thought this was obscene, but doing the math makes me realise it’s not ostentatious as the author makes it appear.

Dividing 2m by the 200 (or more) passengers only gets you to 10k per person – not unreasonable when you consider that this is their top performing employees from a pool of 48,000 employees world wide.

Oh well thenm it's ONLY 10K per person so that's alright then isn't it and I'll remember this is a just mere pittance when I'm waiting too long in a queue at the ANZ.

any FBT?

I bank with ANZ and its migrant unit. When they started out it was great and the service was awesome, in the past year it's been awful and their head of migrant or asian banking don't even speak proper mandarin. what a joke! awful service and I was advised that someone would be in touch (6 weeks ago!).

When you deal with a bank you are outsourcing part of your business. If you dont like banks, withdraw your cash, get your work to pay you cash and live free from the anger and angst its been causing you. When you want to borrow some money put an ad in the paper for people with savings to lend you it, and see how you go.

People hate CEO's and corporations also. They hate minorities and majorities. They love banks when they get their mortgage or an increase in their credit card line and hate banks when they get denied or over draft fees. There is the heart of it, they have the power to decide not to deal with a consumer, and with every other company a consumer deals with thats not the case.
In summary, the mass of people live quiet lives of desperation and like to complain about it a lot.