In the aftermath of the banking royal commission the repercussion already being felt by many Australian home owners is the negative impact from the bank’s crackdown on questionable lending practices and “liar loans”.
But that tighter lending is being blamed as the main cause of falling median house values in Sydney and Melbourne, down in the 12 months to December by 9.9 per cent and 8.4 per cent in each city respectively, according to the latest Domain House Price Report.
But the issue of credit is rarely an issue for the banks’ most senior executives, prompting a look through public records at their stake in the Australian property market.
Take NAB’s star recruit of 2017, former NSW premier Mike Baird.
As his former constituents hit the polling booths in April that year in a Manly byelection, Baird’s wife Kerryn had just taken the keys to a $3.6 million residence on the clifftop at North Curl Curl.
While property values in North Curl Curl fell 10.2 per cent in 2018, most of the big four bank bosses timed their house purchases long before they took up the top job.
How the homes of the bank bosses stack up
The outgoing NAB chairman Ken Henry and his wife, Naomi, were long-time owners of two large rural holdings outside Canberra until recent years when they were both sold. In 2012 they pocketed $790,000 for the Manar property and last year their 215-hectare property at Bungendore fetched $550,000.
The couple’s property portfolio shows their rural interests have moved to the NSW mid-north coast where they bought a 47-hectare property near Port Macquarie in 2016 for $775,000.
And Andrew Thorburn, who announced on Thursday he would resign, is based in Middle Park, where his wife Kathryn bought a heritage residence for $7 million two years ago.
One of the industry’s most experienced banking directors, Phil Chronican, has a Sydney base – a Michael Suttor-designed residence in Kurraba Point he bought in 2016 for $7.7 million.
Fellow board member Ann Sherry and her husband Michael Hogan own the historic Gothic mansion The Abbey, in Annandale, which they bought a decade ago for $4.86 million.
ANZ’s top digs
Long before philanthropist and businessman David Gonski was appointed to the ANZ board and chairman duties, he owned one of the top homes in Point Piper.
Gonski’s wife Orli Wargon bought their waterfront residence in Point Piper for $8.25 million in 2000.
The couple added a weekender at Whale Beach in 2009 for $5.1 million in 2009, and listed it last year for $5.5 million but earlier this week it was pulled from the market, unsold.
Former Google boss Maile Carnegie joined the board in 2016, a year after she and husband Charles bought a Whale Beach weekender for $3.52 million as a getaway from the historic Hunters Hill mansion Carleith they bought in 1998 for $1.65 million.
ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott is based in Toorak, where his wife Nagla Khattab bought an Edwardian in 2012 for $4.5 million.
CBA’s top brass
CBA chairwoman Catherine Livingstone and her husband Michael Satterthwaite are Milsons Point home owners, having bought their apartment in the Alchemy building for $3.975 million in 2007.
That same year the couple bought a rural property in the NSW Central Tablelands for $210,000 to go with the Hyams Beach holiday house on the south coast they bought in 2002 for $940,000.
Their investor interest has been in Redfern, where in 2012 a Victorian terrace was snapped up for $1.4 million, and transferred to a family member last year for $2.05 million. Another Victorian terrace was bought in 2015 for $1.89 million and leased for $1200 a week.
Livingstone was appointed to the chair in early 2017, replacing former Mosman trophy home owner David Turner, who sold his Alex Popov-designed residence opposite Chinamans Beach in 2015 for $10 million to relocate to his London hometown.
Chief executive Matt Comyn sold his Wollstonecraft home in 2012 for $2.195 million to move to Randwick where he bought a Federation mansion for $3.325 million that same year.
Comyn was only appointed to the top job a year ago, stepping into the eastern suburbs-based shoes of Ian Narev. Narev with his wife Frances Allan had sold their Paddington house in 2015 for $3 million to move into a free-standing Victorian house in the same suburb which they bought in 2012 for $5.1 million.
The most impressive Sydney digs among CBA executives is that of former wealth boss Annabel Spring and her husband Peter Stokes, the latter of whom paid $9.8 million in 2015 for a landmark Victorian mansion at Centennial Park. At the time the couple sold their Victorian house in Woollahra for $6.15 million to Charlene Tynan, wife of hedge-fund trader Douglas Tynan.
Westpac’s leading home owners
The year before Brian Hartzer was appointed chief executive at Westpac in 2015, his wife Georgiana bought a Michael Dysart-designed residence in Vaucluse for $12.75 million.
Board chair Lindsay Maxsted is a life-long Melburnian where he and his wife Catherine Leahy share a French chateau-inspired residence in Toorak. They bought it for $2.71 million in 2003.
The couple may make plans to temporarily vacate the heritage residence given DA plans were lodged last August for a $95,000 extension.
Former Veda boss Nerida Caesar was appointed to the Westpac board in 2017, a year after she and husband Craig bought a Michael Suttor-designed residence in the eastern suburbs for more than $14.3 million.
In what is set to look like good timing for the peak of the property boom, Caesar sold her Woollahra property last year for $4.275 million, well up on the $2.34 million paid in 2004.